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NPR's Morning Edition
Broadcast 08/02/2000, Story 4



Tomorrow the major league players baseball union will begin its appeal of atlanta braves pitcher john rockers fine and suspension of the penalties were imposed after arthur made derogatory comments about foreigners minorities on homosexuals in an article in sports illustrated

Last monday baseball commissioner bud selig find rocker twenty thousand dollars and suspended until may first rocker also signed orders to undergo sensitivity training site minor works as a diversity trainer with major league baseball the national basketball association the national hockey league and the national football league understand what advice he would give iraq

I would say to um h. m. o. also comparable in this situation with uh this particular reporter and maybe things said he was saying that he didn't necessarily intend to say

That is somehow slipped to what i really try to focus on in my sessions is decision making let me look at this particular situation let me make good decisions so that i can achieve the outcome within the situation that i would like to achieve so that i can continue on

Personally and what i would say that john would be uh that a it was a bump in the road there now let's look at where we go from here i would encourage him to use this as an opportunity you want to be a professional ballplayers pay how are you going to handle this what you wanted to tell you interact with your came out to you lou

Interact with your ball playing community right there in atlanta which is uh a very diverse community you think the commissioner bud selig

There was he was he doing something to appear to be doing something or does he really think rockers hard it's going to be changed

I said well

Russell and honestly couldn't speak for the commission about that

I don't know that we can

Look at changing the hearts of individuals i think what we can do is encourage them to look at the full context of these kinds of situations look at their lives look at themselves as a professional look at all this work that's put into getting to this point in his career

And let me now make some adjustments would change is hard i don't know i think it could change his way of thinking about how he handles himself and i think that's important for people who feel good news

Rights of free speech were violated

I think the question really shouldn't be should he be allowed to you and say what you want to say so long as you understand the potential consequences of what you said

But isn't he being punished for what he said

Those are the consequences so he's not being told not to say he is being given a set of consequences at this point uh he didn't


The impact of what he was saying seoul is he being told not to speak his mind no no not at all

Uh i think as as as americans we we do have freedom of speech

But that does not mean that you are not to deal with the consequences of

Whatever the speech details some miners an athlete diversity training have a good for major league baseball the n. h. l. the n. b. a. and the n. f. l.

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