Is John Off His Rocker?
Commentary by Phil Valentine  /  January 17, 2000

First of all, I want to make it crystal clear that I do not condone nor do I agree with the recent comments made by Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker. His characterization of a black teammate as "a fat monkey" was probably the most inflammatory comment he made in a recent Sports Illustrated article yet the politically correct crowd hardly noticed. They were too busy ranting and raving over his comments about foreigners in New York. Here's the comment that sent the PCers into a rage: "The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners," Rocker said. "I'm not a very big fan of foreigners. 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 in this country?" Xenophobic? Probably. Stupid? Definitely. But crazy?

Before Rocker's fate is decided, he's been sent on a couch trip. The PCers were so stunned that someone could be so insensitive toward foreigners that they figured he must be nuts so he was ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation by the baseball commissioner. But professional sports is replete with bad boys who do bad things. In 1996, James Harris, Minnesota Vikings defensive end, pleaded guilty to third degree assault for beating his wife. Montreal Expos pitcher Carlos Peres was arrested in 1995 on rape charges in Atlanta. Most recently, Denard Walker of the Tennessee Titans was arrested for beating his girlfriend. She charged, and the bruises on her neck would indicate, that he was trying to kill her. He pleaded guilty to assault and the story was covered up for six months then greeted by yawns from the PCers when it finally did surface. The number of sports figures who have been busted for drugs is too vast to enumerate here. And who can forget Dennis Rodman. He butts the head of an official, kicks a cameraman in the groin, shows up at games covered in tattoos and green hair and makes an appearance in New York City donning a wedding dress yet his sanity is never questioned!

Even Rocker's bosses have had their share of trouble. In May of 1995, Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox was jailed briefly and charged with simple battery after police broke up a domestic dispute between Cox and his wife. Braves owner Ted Turner made a provocative comment, among the many for Captain Outrageous, that Christianity is a "religion for losers," a comment which millions of church-goers found offensive. Not one of the PCers ever suggested that Turner or Cox was a candidate for the laughing academy. Why? Because political correctness is, itself, discriminatory. Only in its warped value system will you find the offense of speaking your mind, as stupid as that speech may be, to be more egregious than domestic violence, drug abuse and assault. Only in the twisted minds of the politically correct is it determined that the John Rockers of the world are crazy and dangerous and must be ejected from professional sports while the Denard Walkers and Dennis Rodmans are stable and should be allowed to stay. The PCers have become the sole arbiters of what is offensive and who is offended while officials of professional sports stand dutifully by awaiting their orders. We, as sports fans, have become willing accomplices by not demanding that these issues be dealt with in proper proportion to the offense.

The old adage that actions speak louder than words is turned on its head when reason is drowned out by the din of political correctness. If you want to know the truth, the wrong person is on the couch.


© 2001, The Phil Valentine Show
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