John Rocker Now Throws Political Hardballs

Michael Thompson, WND, May 29, 2012

Though it’s been nine years since he threw his last pitch in Major League Baseball, former Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker is still known for a single incident that happened back in 1999.

{snip} Rocker’s life was radically altered after an interview with notorious sports journalist Jeff Pearlman from Sports Illustrated.

The politically incorrect statements Rocker said in the interview resulted in a media firestorm. Rocker was suspended by Commissioner Bud Selig, given the highest fine ever in Major League Baseball history, and assigned to mandatory “sensitivity” training.

The worst aspect of this public hanging by the respectable media was his tarnished reputation. Rocker referred to the entire affair as equivalent to “dying” in his new book Rocker: Scars and Strikes.


In an exclusive interview with WND, Rocker opened up about life after baseball, the current state of the game, as well as his second passion: politics. {snip}


Rocker retired from baseball in 2005 and has moved on to a successful career in real estate in the Atlanta metro area. {snip}

In “Rocker: Scars and Strikes,” referring to that famous/infamous interview he writes, “I died on a Sunday evening. Now of course I didn’t die in the literal sense that day, but I might as well have. Technically, I’m still breathing and the soulless shell that is my body continues to walk around upright appearing to be intact. Make no mistake about it, however, everything inside of me that day, everything I worked a lifetime to become, who I was at the core of my being, which took more than a decade to create, was laid to waste in one fell blow all for the sake of selling a few @#%&ing magazines.”


Pearlman wrote in Sports Illustrated, “John Rocker has opinions, and there’s no way to sugarcoat them. They are politically incorrect, to say the least, and he likes to express them.”

On ever playing for a New York team: “I would retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing.”

Rocker’s teammates and friends in Major League Baseball rushed to defend him from the media firestorm that ensued from the portrait created in Pearlman’s interview. Unfortunately, the damage was done.


Rocker commented, “I said some things about New York City which in the context they were presented led many people to automatically interpret as racist, xenophobic, or bigoted. And to this day, that’s what I’m most remembered for. Not what I accomplished on the field, but what I said in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

“Pearlman spent nearly 10 hours with me that day and we engaged in numerous very long-winded conversations on everything from how to throw a breaking ball to the effects of a flawed U.S. immigration policy. Strategically extracting a sentence fragment here and separate thought there Pearlman painted the exact picture of me he intended from the very beginning and in doing so remained true to form and consistent with his long and decorated history of trash journalism. In my research I have found that Pearlman has done eerily similar hatchet jobs to dozens of other subjects during his 20 year career,” said Rocker.

“Immediately after the comments were printed the media began in earnest to uncover other ‘smoking guns’ of racial intolerance and bigotry from my past. Oh what a glorious story that would have made! To have an ex-black teammate or a person from my high school years come forward and support the image that Pearlman had created would have be gold! For months everyone from the New York Times to Current Affair interviewed high school teachers, high school friends, ex-teammates, and current ones only to have Pearlman’s image refuted at every opportunity. So without any gasoline to pour on their fire storm the media finally gave up and left their contradictory findings largely unreported.”


Rocker admits that some may still find offense with his thoughts and opinions, but feels he has as much of a right to voice his opinion as others have to do be offended by it. And, if it so happens that one finds offense with Rocker’s thoughts and commentaries in Scars and Strikes it doesn’t appear that any contrite apologies will be forthcoming.

“I think people in America on both sides of the political spectrum are growing weary of political correctness,” he says. “I think people are tired of wearing the ‘speech muzzle’ all the time never knowing what comment may offend what person or group. It’s exhausting. Instead of everyone bending over backwards attempting to accept everything about everyone we all just need to accept one clear simple fact. We are all not always going to accept every difference that people have one from another. That is the only thing which should be universally accepted and understood.”


Rocker still wants immigrants—legal immigrants—to succeed in America, but he wants them to speak English in the process: “I don’t care if you speak two, five or even 10 languages; if you plan on living, raising a family and prospering in this country one of those languages should be English. There is no white collar job one can have in America where knowing the English language will not be required. I can’t speak for everyone, but I doubt the ideal scenario for the young immigrant involves digging ditches or changing dirty hotel sheets for the next 50 years. America has much more to offer than that.”

Rocker goes on to state, “As typical with most media, a general effort has been made by many journalists to frame my ‘Speak English Campaign’ in the vein of racism. And why wouldn’t they? Stirring the propaganda pot is what most of them do best instead of taking an opportunity to engage in authentic debate for purposes of gaining an understanding. Most media have chosen to apply a simplistic definition that creates the greatest level of sensationalism. This campaign is about much more than simply speaking English. In one part it is an effort to encourage Americans to support one of the most basic aspects of our unique heritage which is the language we speak. In a second part, but equally as important, it seeks to encourage the new American immigrant who wishes to take advantage of all that this great country has to offer to assimilate to the culture and heritage of the new land they find themselves at the most elementary level, the language they speak.”


Here’s Rocker speaking his mind on some other issues:


What about Arizona law SB1070: “God bless Jan Brewer! If I could personally meet any public figure in our country today on any level, Jan Brewer would be at the top of that list. That woman was elected by the people of Arizona to do one thing and one thing only, whatever is best for the citizens of her state as their representative. Jan Brewer is not a racist. Her House and Senate that passed SB1070 are not racists, and to flippantly assume that the hard-working men and women of Arizona law enforcement would behave like bigots in the enforcement of this bill is paramount to a slap in their face. I’m quite sure that many of them would take strong exception to such an allegation. Life in our country’s border states can be much different than in the rest of the country. {snip}”

On Trayvon Martin: “To say that after all of the glorious efforts that have been made over many, many years that America still has a tremendous amount of racial tension would be a gross understatement. Evidently we have been making the wrong efforts in the wrong directions. In many places, you can almost feel the tension simmering slightly below the surface. It’s saddening and almost frustrating to see the polarizing effects a situation like that with Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman can have on this country. When and how will we ever unite across all ethnic and racial barriers? After following this story over the past month it sickens me to witness the exploitation, propaganda and opportunistic advantage that many people have shamelessly taken on the back of this situation.

Trayvon Martin was a life. He was a bright-eyed young man with his whole future ahead of him. In my opinion and I’m certainly not afraid to voice it; Trayvon Martin is being treated like a pawn for the promotion of a social agenda—at least for right now. Next year there will be a new face, but for now this special young man’s life is being exploited for the furtherance of some ‘victimology’ and oppression campaign. Those exploiting him don’t care about his life. To them he is not a life; he is simply a name and a face to be placed on a poster at a rally for the cause. They don’t care that Trayvon Martin will never get to grow old nor watch his children do the same. They don’t care that he won’t be at prom this year or on spring break with his buddies. They don’t care that he’ll never meet his wife or his son. All they care about is a dark face to put with a tragedy that will give them their soapbox to stand on while they look into a TV camera and further divide this country with sensationalized rhetoric.

And when I say ‘they,’ everyone knows who ‘they’ is. ‘They’ are the ones who called for heads when six kids at Duke University were accused of rape by a drugged-out black stripper. ‘They’ tried that case in the court of public opinion and feverishly stoked the flames of racial tension with their misguided, flippant accusations. How did that situation turn out, by the way? ‘They’ did the same thing a few years earlier with Tawana Brawley and have stood on that soapbox many, many times in between promoting their agenda and dividing America, all the while exploiting the victim no matter what he or she has faced or how real or false their claims may be. ‘They’ don’t care about Trayvon Martin and the loss of his one chance at life.



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  • Nice to know that a White man in the USA still has a pair of balls and not some fleshy patch between his legs.

  • Great interview!  I am not a sports fan but I admire Mr Rockers courage and integrity.  It is shameful that the “Main Stream Media” behave in the way that they do AND GET AWAY WITH IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN! 
    It takes real Chutzpah!

  • Deconstructing Mr. Rocket’s statement it is readily apparent that he said NOTHING racist, Xenophobic or bigoted.  I’ve been to New York and many parts do indeed resemble third world cities like Beirut (Americans are not breaking down Lebanon’s doors to immigrate to Beirut).  “Queer” is the preferred term for gays these days, and the gay population has a significantly higher percentage of AIDS (especially in New York) so nothing wrong there.  People with purple hair tend to be anti-social punk rockers or “Scene kids” and who doesn’t find that depressing?   “Some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time” and “some 20 year old mom with four kids” are Racially Neutral statements (although i could see by their behavior how the black/hispanic populations KNEW/thought he was referring to them!).  Are we to believe that convicted criminals and mothers with kids DO NOT use the number 7 train?  The only outrageous claim Mr. Rocker made in his statement was the idea that a professional athlete would take the Number 7 train in the first place!

    • APaige

      You are so right. His comments were general (except Queer) and could apply to anyone. I also remember he had to have a meeting with Hank Aaron? Not one thing he said was ‘racist’, only the media ‘thought’ it COULD be racist.

  • What always got me was how thin-skinned NY’ers turned out to be when Rocker said what he said about NY. This is, afterall, the city that gives us Saturday Night Live which has skewered people from the south as inbredded hillbillies, Californians as air-heads etc.. Seems they can dish it out, but can’t take it and a lot of Rocker said was the truth.

    • StivD

      That’s true. As someone who comes from the deep South, NY was always the epicenter of people who loved to promote ridicule of the South…as long as they were white; particularly when they were poor, or the slightest bit outside of the NYers idea of acceptable, or worthy of simple dignity. 

      There’s plenty of media control in NY and that’s what dictates the culture of the U.S. these days. Because there is barely anything other than pop. culture via T.V., magazines,  talk radio..and most of them are headquartered in NY. New York controls the news and advertising.  Los Angeles has Hollywood, but I think television is more influential because it’s constant.

      • TeutonicKnight67

         As a native New Yorker I can attest to the fact that we are indoctrinated at an early age to believe that NYC is the epicenter of the world. We are “biggest, fastest, smartest, most diverse…blah blah blah” However once we spread our wings to find the rest of the country we are shocked, SHOCKED to find that not everyone agrees with our self assessment. NYC is truly the epicenter of one very important thing though….the Liberal Media Establishment.

        You will find that most middle/working class white NYers are very practical and down-to-earth on racial and crime matters since they are the ones forced to “enjoy” most of the diversity. It is only the Media Complex which keeps our Southern Brethren from getting to know the real NYers. Why do you think so many of us retire to the South? Because of the weather? Or is it because we can be free to express our disdain for “diversity” down there without being shouted down by Communist “Liberals”.

        •  I tend to think a lot of NYers think of NY as essentially the only place in the world.  I remember a few years ago that a certain high grossing movie opened on a winter weekend when it snowed heavily in NYC.  At the end of the weekend, I read that the movie did well at the box office, “in spite of the heavy snow.”

          Funny, there wasn’t snow on the ground in much of the country.  It’s just that it snowed in NYC, therefore, it snowed everywhere.

  • StivD

    He’s still going out of his way to indirectly apologize for sounding racist. He is still concerned with how he’s perceived a lot more than he is about the issue itself. If he told the truth then it’s true whether it was racist or not. Too many white people are still worried about seeming respectable and harmless. Politeness ends at some point. 

    He mostly  just sounds like a Limbaugh or O’Reilly that happens to more candid and old time conservative than he does a ‘realist’ or ‘nationalist,’ etc. Social conservatives are fine but they don’t usually think racially, or they’re too cowardly to.  I doubt he would approve of whites who were loyal to the white race and a little outside of his idea of mainstream.

  • newscomments70

    Rocker loses his job over some non-PC comments. That’s all well and good, but what happens to the black athletes who hurl racist epithets at white players? Nothing. Rockers comments weren’t even racist, his comments were anti-gay. If you interviewed a black athlete on what he thought of gays, you would get an earful of hate. What would happen to them? Nothing most likely. 

    “Trayvon Martin, a bright eyed, special young man”…sorry Mr. Rocker,  you lost me. You’re trying too hard to look PC now. Blacks still hate you, go home and sell some more houses. 

    • ed91

       gee, you mean there is a double standard about race in america………..

      dang………  say it ain’t so   …………………………..s/

  • newscomments70

    “It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut ”
    I would feel safer walking in Beirut than in most of NYC. According to the state department, “Violent crime and sexual assault are rare (in Beirut).” Furthermore, parts of Beirut are beautiful and vibrant. Comparing Beirut to a war zone is a dated anology. NYC can be compared to Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s not that bad yet, but it’s getting there. 

  • Celestial_Time

    Mr. Rocker would do himself a great favor just admitting that “they” have nothing but a visceral definition of people who espouse the very ideas and language he claims to adhere to. If you are White and aren’t willing to allow White values, history and heritage to be dictated to and/or destroyed by non-Whites, then you are a Racist! Got it Mr. Rocker?

    Good lord! I am really, really, really sick of the tip-toeing when it comes to calling a spade a spade. If you’re gonna pretend like you’re a bull, then be a damn bull!

  •  Sir Skittles was well on his way to having 8 children by 6 women or something like that, 4 of the 8 children unbeknownst to him and the identity of those four’s fathers unbeknownst to their mothers.

  • sbuffalonative

    Mr. Rockers’ fatal flaws are that he is too honest, too trusting, and too naive.

    Mr. Pearlman must have seen ‘a rube’ ready to railroad. He took advantage of a trusting young man and destroyed is career to bolster his own.

    Professional athletes should have banned together to never agree to an interview with Mr. Pearlman or anyone from Sports Illustrated.  

    Mr. Pearlman and SI should have been declared persona non grata.

  • MikeofAges

    The number of victims of “Rockerization” and their spectrum is greater than most people know. One athlete who surprisingly was “Rockerized”, before there ever was a John Rocker, was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. When Adbul-Jabbar finished college (and he did finish) he did his “duty” and served where the NBA draft sent him. That was the midwestern city of Milwaukee, a community of German, Slavic and Scandinavian skilled workers and middle managers.

    By all acounts, Abdul-Jabbar had a good relationship with the Milwaukee community, particularly with the youth. Eventually he was requested that the Milwaukee Buck trade him to either Los Angeles or New York. His request was accomodated in 1975 following his sixth season in Milwaukee. All Abdul-Jabbar would say is that the Milwaukee community did not meet his cultural needs. That much is obvious enough, considering that Milwaukee is not noted for its jazz scene, for example.

    The mass media, led by the Sports Illustrated types, constantly inveigled Abdul-Jabbar to denounce or berate Milwaukee, which he steadfastly refused to do. As his reward for maintaining his own cultural coherence and defending the integrity of his intercultural experience Abdul-Jabbar, who was mentally far ahead of the pipsqueak reporters who were pestering him, was painted as being a quirky and eccentric character.

    John Rocker’s comments on Trayvon Martin are more interesting than they look at first. Actually, the “they” whom Rocker refers to do very much care that Martin, and those like him, “will never get to grow old nor watch
    his children do the same. They don’t care that he won’t be at prom this
    year or on spring break with his buddies. They don’t care that he’ll
    never meet his wife or his son.”

    They care that these things won’t happen because what they care about most is that these things never happen to any young men (whatever their ilk) whom we would call working class, lower middle class or disadvantaged. They want none of these young men to know and walk in the ways of their fathers and pass those ways along to their own sons.

    When Rocker hit the news in the late 1990s, somewhere along the line it was noted that he was highly intelligent young man, at least based his scores on the college aptitude tests he in high school. Clearly, he is living up to his billing in that respect.

    What happened to for what he said in 1999 is typical of what the left has sought to do to and with free speech. They support the right of people to say what they wish, you see. They just want to disagree with how you say it, and skin you alive especially if you say it in a vivid and expressive way.

  • Perlman, hmm. Oh that Perlman. Isn’t he just part of the MSM true ownership that hates a John Rocker and used subterfuge to entice anything from Rocker that could be used against a Southern ball player? How many of us need the example before we realize we cannot trust these people and certainly not the ones in the media or anywhere else.

    • Major

      Nor any “journalist” whose name ends in stein, berg or man.

  • “ It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing.”

    What you got to ask yourself is this, is it true or is it false  ? and it is truthful, isn’t it ? the city is a boarding house for the riff raff of the world.  The place is full of unimaginable scum.

    Rocker’s big mistake was  giving a interview to a liberal /cultural marxist reporter called ” Pearlman ” who had a little agenda.

  • It’s sad that Rocker said that about the ” Risen Christ” Trayvon Martin. The autopsy reports said he had taken drugs the day before. 

    It’s just one less to worry about.

  • anarchyst

    Rocker is wasting his time trying to be “unracist”.
    Rocker is trying to equate white values with the black underclass.  It is fact that the black underclass despises white values and will do anything to destroy them.

  • A bit of ass-kissing there: Trayvon was “bright-eyed” he had his “life ahead of him”. yep he had many people to beat and rob.What the hell is bright-eyed? His eyes looked like any other angry,feral negro to me. Bright? They would be the only thing “bright” about him.

  • Add two points: A)Pearlman is jewish and Sports Illustretd is NOT some cool,manly mag for us guys,its a highly leftist Jew magazine. Garbage. B)Pearlman is the same piece of slime that did  the Walter Payton book. He unearthed the crazy things Payton did–like accidentally shooting a business associate!!–and other faults like cheating on his wife,suffering depression,threatening suicide,etc,and put them all ina book. He claimed it was in the public’s interest to know all this stuff,tho Payton has been dead a decade. Maybe Pearlman had to pay for a bat mitzvah??Is anyone surprised.

  • Major

    “There is no white collar job one can have in America where knowing the English language will not be required.”

    Sorry Rocker…you obviously haven’t been to Dade County / Miami, Florida. It’s not a “press 1” for English place…they just don’t speak it at all.

    • MikeofAges

       Keep one thing in mind though. The owners of substantial businesses and the salespeople, supervisors and office workers all speak English, I am sure. They have to because ultimately they have to do business with the outside world. English is the “language of success” for these people as much as for anyone else even if they conceal that fact in their daily lives. No one wants to spend “[change] dirty sheets for the next 50 years” or rise at best no higher than running a grubby storefront business.

  • Robert Rhodes

    I always liked John Rocker.

  • Carney3

    Rocker is only 37.  It’s conceivable he could still be playing today if his career had not been thrown off track.  That means millions of foregone revenue.

    In any case, living well is the best revenge.  It seems as if he is doing well in his real estate business.  Prosepering in the face of the anti-white left’s attempts to impoverish you is the best antidote to their emotional terrorism, especially since real estate is a normal business that ordinary people can work in, unlike major league baseball which requires one to be a pinnacle athletic talent.

  • qpwoeir

    God, what a pathetic liberal he is. He is a RINO just like 90% of the other Republicans.

  • The__Bobster

    Oh really? When was the last time you “spoke” to him?

    (CNN) — The Nobel prize-winning biologist who caused a furor with comments about the intelligence of black people resigned Thursday from his longtime post at a renowned research lab.

    In a statement announcing his departure from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on New York’s Long Island, Dr James Watson did not mention the comments but instead cited “events” which led to his decision.

    “The circumstances in which the transfer is occurring,” he wrote, “are not those which I could ever have anticipated or desired.

    “The lab’s board had already suspended him pending a review of his remarks, for which Watson apologized last week.

    Watson had been on a tour of the United Kingdom to promote his new book, and the comments led several venues to cancel his planned appearances.

    The 79-year-old biologist apologized “unreservedly” last week and said he did not understand how he could have made the quoted remarks. The paper stood by its interview.

  • At one point in my life, I didn’t set foot in the US for 10 years… not even to change planes.

    This must have happened during that time, because I never heard of the guy before reading this article…

    Besides, I’ve always been disinterested in baseball… don’t much care about it.

  • Sheila Dinehart

    dang…after all that he still seems to be a little apologetic…probably just a nice guy…well it is what it is…If that little newsworm thought for a minute he would get his ass beat if he tried to use his dirty little propaganda techniques to target Rocker (because being southern white is an easy target), ruin his life and get applauded for it by liberal bleeeding hearts…he would have kept his mouth shut.

    Some things are just simple.

    Revenge…simple, swift and sweet.

    • Sheila Dinehart

      opps moderator…I meant the English *arse*…I am trying!

  • Sheila Dinehart

    Actually, I like NYC…just gotta stay in Manhattan, shack up at The Plaza, and pick you drivers…I flew up there not too long ago to see a concert at RCMH…it ain’t a good place fo po white folk though…ha ha ha…but where is?