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About 75 March To Protest Rocker

January 18, 2000

ATLANTA (AP) _ About 75 people marched and chanted in front of CNN’s headquarters Tuesday to protest a lack of action by the Atlanta Braves against pitcher John Rocker.

The Braves _ owned by CNN’s parent company, Time Warner _ have done nothing to punish Rocker for his derogatory comments about immigrants, minorities and gays in last month’s Sports Illustrated, said Michael Langford, president of the United Youth-Adult Conference, who led the protest in a misty rain.

``They’re treating a cancer with an aspirin,″ he said.

State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, head of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, also took part in the march. The protesters carried signs saying, ``Fire John Rocker,″ ``Shame on Major League Baseball,″ and ``M.L.B. _ Major League Bigot.″

``We are calling on CNN and the Atlanta Braves to take corrective action against John Rocker. We think there should be some sort of punishment. CNN and the Braves have been too silent,″ Brooks said.

Braves officials declined comment.

Rocker told Sports Illustrated 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 said, ``I’m not a very big fan of foreigners. ... How the hell did they get in this country?″ and he called a black teammate a ``fat monkey.″

Rocker apologized and said he was not a racist.

Earlier this month, baseball commissioner Bud Selig ordered Rocker to undergo psychological tests and said he would await the results before deciding on any discipline.

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