Controversy surrounding John Rocker's comments disparaging gays and minorities reached the music industry Monday.
Members of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister asked the Atlanta Braves to stop playing their song "I Wanna Rock" to introduce Rocker, the team's closer.
"We've got Hispanics in this band, Italians in this band, people who are Polish and Russian," said guitarist Jay Jay French, the band's co-founder. "We're all immigrants, all foreigners--quote unquote--and this is our way of saying his comments were not acceptable."
In an interview in Sports Illustrated, Rocker said he would never play for a New York team because he didn't want to ride a train "next to some queer with AIDS."
He also bashed immigrants, saying, "I'm not a very big fan of foreigners. . . . How the hell did they get in this country?"
Rocker later apologized and in a subsequent interview with ESPN said his comments were in retaliation for verbal and physical abuse he said he received from New York Met fans during the National League championship series.
New York-based Twisted Sister is best known for its 1984 hit single "We're Not Gonna Take It." French, 42, said he legally represents the band and that all its members were in agreement over the action.
French wouldn't speculate on what he would do if the Braves continued to use the song, written by the group's lead singer, Dee Snider.
With 80 players set to exchange proposed salaries with their teams today as part of the arbitration process, eight players avoided the process by settling with their teams. Among those were San Diego Padre right-handers Donne Wall ($2 million for two years) and Brian Boehringer ($830,000), Toronto Blue Jay right-hander John Frascatore ($1.85 million for two years), Padre outfielder Ruben Rivera ($700,000), Chicago Cub left-hander Felix Heredia ($625,000), Cincinnati Red left-hander Gabe White ($630,000), Milwaukee Brewer outfielder Mark Sweeney ($515,000). San Francisco Giant reliever Felix Rodriguez got a two-year extension.
The Blue Jays also announced that free-agent first baseman David Segui had agreed to a one-year contract worth $4,325,000, and the Reds also announced a $1.6-million, one-year contract with left-hander Ron Villone.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays agreed to a minor league contract with 35-year-old pitcher John Burkett. Burkett, who was 9-8 with a 5.62 earned-run average in 30 games for the Texas Rangers last year, will get an $850,000 deal if he's added to the roster and has a chance to make $2,175,000 more in performance bonuses.
Catcher and utility infielder Tyler Houston, cut by the Cleveland Indians last month, agreed to a $835,000, one-year contract with Milwaukee.
The attempt to regain the jobs of 22 umpires fired in September resumes today before a Philadelphia arbitrator hearing the grievance filed by Richie Phillips' Major League Umpires Assn. Also, a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer in New York is expected to decide this week on Phillips' attempt to overturn a November election that kicked out his union.
April Heinrichs, captain of the American team that won the first Women's World Cup in 1991, has agreed to a four-year contract to coach the U.S. women's soccer team--a deal that will be announced today in New York.
The High Court in London denied an attempt by a women's group to stop Mike Tyson's Jan. 29 bout against Julius Francis. The group, Justice for Women, filed court papers challenging a decision by British official Jack Straw to let the former heavyweight champion into England despite his 1992 rape conviction in the United States.
The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference said it supports Vermont's decision to cancel the rest of its hockey season because of hazing. Phillip Buttafuoco, the commissioner of the league, said that scheduling problems were secondary to the importance of the decision.
Most of the schedule changes involve Dartmouth, Vermont's travel partner. The teams traditionally travel to an ECAC region, with each school playing an opponent on a Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Vermont President Judith Ramaley canceled the final 15 games of the season after the school determined players had lied to investigators about reports that freshman players were hazed last fall.
Chris Peters, a former Microsoft executive who failed in an attempt to become a professional bowler, is buying the financially troubled Professional Bowlers Assn. The 2,800-member PBA is expected to announce shortly that it has given its board of directors permission to negotiate a sale to a group led by Peters. The PBA, founded in 1958, lost its television contract with ABC in 1996 after 36 years on the network. It is believed to be more than $3 million in debt.
Former Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona, whose recent hospitalization was brought on by cocaine use, will seek treatment for drug addiction in Cuba, his doctors said.