Homophobic remarks cost Rocker $1 million

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 16 2001 12:00 AM ET

John Rocker, the Atlanta Braves pitcher who was suspended last year for making antigay and racially insensitive comments to Sports Illustrated, will get $1.9 million this season rather than the $2.98 million he originally requested. A salary arbitration panel set the $1.9 million figure for Rocker, who had a 2.89 ERA last year, rejecting his request for the higher salary. Last year the Braves set his salary at $290,000. Team management argued before the arbitration panel that Rocker’s comments to the magazine had affected the team. In the Sports Illustrated interview Rocker complained about New York City’s blacks, women, and Asians as well as having to ride the subway “next to some queer with AIDS.” The Braves introduced quotes from commissioner Bud Selig and home run king Hank Aaron, among others, that were critical of Rocker.