|HOME | US EDITION | REPORT|
February 2, 2000
Rocker suspended for racist remarks
J M Shenoy
Despite efforts by Andrew Young, civil rights leader and former American ambassador to the United Nations, to have John Rocker forgiven for his comments against Asians and African Americans, the Atlanta Braves star has been suspended till May 1. But 25-year-old Rocker, who makes about $ 270,000 a year will continue getting his full pay during the suspension.
Two weeks ago, many people, including several Indians, protested outside the CNN office in Atlanta demanding that media mogul Ted Turner, who owns CNN and the Atlanta Braves, should punish Rocker.
Subash Razdan, chairman of the trustees of the National Federation of Indian Associations, had said after the demonstration that Rocker should be punished first and then allowed to seek repentance.
The baseball star had apologized on December 22 for his remarks made in an interview with Sports International soon after the controversy began brewing about a month ago.
Rocker made his comments following the snub the Atlanta Braves had received in New York. Following the humiliating defeat, he denounced New York City, including the No 7 train mostly used by Asian immigrants. The train also passes through many business and residential areas with a south Asian population.
'I'm not a very big fan of foreigners,' he had said. 'You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there.
'How the hell did they get into this country,' he'd asked.
Rocker's subsequent contrition and apology saying he was not a racist did not satisfy his critics. They held a demonstration last month invoking the names of Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi.
The demonstrators were angry that the Braves had merely asked Rocker to undergo psychological testing.
"That is just a rap on Rocker's wrist," Razdan had said, adding that he was more perturbed that the managers and top executives of the Atlanta Braves were not taking action against Rocker.
"He is just about 25," Razdan continued. "And he should be punished for his observations. But the older people in the corporate world should act fast and show us that money and profit is not everything in business.
"If he is not punished, I would lose respect for American justice," Razdan had said.
On Monday, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig of the Atlanta Braves said Rocker's remarks "offended practically every element of society."
While Rocker has been ordered to undergo sensitivity training, Selig said, he will also pay a fine. The amount of the fine was not announced.
"Major league baseball takes seriously its role as an American institution and the important social responsibility that goes with it,'' Selig said.
"We will not dodge our responsibility. Mr Rocker should understand that his remarks offended practically every element of society and brought dishonor to himself, the Atlanta Braves and major league baseball," Selig said.
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK