ANGELES - August 6 - GLAAD DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS JOHN SONEGO -- "When
John Rocker is quoted as telling a group of gay and transgender people, 'I hope
you die of AIDS, I hope you cease to exist,' his message and his intent are clear:
he's targeting gay people with vicious messages of hate and bigotry.
"This isn't an isolated
incident; it's simply the latest of Rocker's homophobic remarks. And Rangers General
Manager John Hart's claim that Rocker 'acted appropriately' would be laughable
if it didn't indicate that anti-gay abuse is still acceptable in major league
baseball. The Texas Rangers and Major League officials have an obligation to hold
their players, managers and teams accountable for actions like these that disgrace
"The day after the
incident, the Associated Press reported Rocker had released a 'written apology'
for his actions. The AP should take a second look at what Rocker wrote; it's nothing
of the sort. It's an attempt to deflect responsibility by blaming the people he
"Today's Reuters story
led with Rocker's claims he was provoked into his homophobic epithets, despite
witness reports to the contrary. People shouldn't be misled by these reports.
Sports media, including the Associated Press and Reuters, should investigate the
circumstances thoroughly and report accurately on the nature and context of Rocker's
epithets, and not simply serve as agreeable conduits for his and his manager's
feeble excuses for unconscionable behavior."
The Gay & Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair,
accurate and inclusive representation of individuals and events in all media as
a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity
and sexual orientation.