There has been enough of the John Rocker controversy. The media keeps churning out negative remarks. I am a Rocker fan, not a member of the lynch mob. I can understand how in a distraught moment he made remarks that offended some New Yorkers, after the way he was treated while playing ball there.
On April 20, Gordon Wittenmyer, writing for Sports Writers Direct, was guilty of the same thing he condemned Mr. Rocker of doing. Mr. Wittenmyer puts down everyone who is supporting Mr. Rocker. He can't understand why Mr. Rocker has so many loyal fans. Perhaps I can enlighten him.
These are some of Mr. Wittenmyer's questions: "What does it say about America when John Rocker jerseys are selling out?" It takes a big person to admit their mistake and apologize. Mr. Rocker did.
There are many of us who are willing to forgive and forget, realizing we are not perfect either. True courage lies not in never falling, but in the ability to rise after a fall. His fans believe Mr. Rocker is this kind of man. We will not desert him because sports writers continue to criticize his every move.
"Who are those would-be Rockers in replica 49 Braves Jerseys?" Mr. Wittenmyer, that is us. We are the large group of Rocker fans. You believe it is OK to call him names and put him down, but you don't believe he has the same right to speak his mind. That is a double standard.
"Where does this zealous support come from? What misplaced respect would possess someone to pay to wear his jersey and adopt his image?" I believe a great many of his fans are Christians. We believe in fair treatment for everyone. The media has not been fair to Mr. Rocker.
I could not find a Rocker jersey, so I had one made. I wear it with pride. My respect is not misplaced. He has talent, and he is an asset to the Braves.
Yesterday I received an autographed Rawlings Braves baseball in the mail. These words were written on it, "Thanks for all your support. John Rocker 49." It's a possession I will treasure.
Mildred W. McNair, Aiken