A few days ago, Deadspin posted an interview with former Braves pitcher John Rocker in which, among other things, he went off on Jeff Pearlman, the Sports Illustrated reporter who wrote the 1999 profile that began the end of Rocker's baseball career:When people have an agenda, that's all that matters. Jeff Pearlman is who he is: A liberal Jew from New York. He's one of their own, who spent a couple of hours with me, pulled things out of context, and you're trying to create a persona of an individual when you don't know them.
Well, Pearlman, who has long since left SI, found this interview. And as you can imagine, he didn't much like it.
But among the things he wrote in the above ESPN.com link was this, and I think this sums up what people who think the way Rocker does don't understand:John Rocker is right. I am a liberal Jew from New York with an agenda. I have two African-American nephews who I want to grow up in a world indifferent to the color of their skin. I have gay friends who deserve the same love and respect and legal protections as everyone else. I don't condemn people for not speaking English, just as I don't condemn Rocker for speaking moron (OK, that's a cheap shot, but it sure felt good).
I am the great-grandson of a concentration camp victim, the grandson of four people who knew what it was to suffer the indignity of anti-semitism, the son of parents who raised my brother and me to value diversity, to judge people not by color or religion or sexuality, but by the goodness of their intentions.
I have long believed that John Rocker's fatal flaw is not his mechanics or delivery, but his anger. He chooses to walk in the dark, to think in absolutes that only result in the bitter person before us today.
Hear, hear. It seems Rocker has learned nothing in the seven years since his fall from grace.