EDITOR'S NOTE--Atlanta Brave relief pitcher John Rocker wrote this column for today's editions of The Atlanta Constitution. An arbitrator cut Rocker's suspension Wednesday from 28 to 14 days, allowed him to attend spring training and reduced his fine from $20,000 to $500:
In a December issue of Sports Illustrated, I made several comments of which I am ashamed.
In reading the article, I realized that in three major areas, I have hurt people. It was unintentional, but nevertheless, there was damage done.
First, I used foul language, and I owe an apology to the children and families who see baseball players as role models. I've been a poor example. I was not raised that way, and that kind of language is not used where I come from.
Secondly, my comments concerning several different groups have left people wondering if I'm a racist. I'm not a racist, although I can understand how someone who did not know me could think that.