Remember John Rocker, the then-Braves player who riled up the sports world in 1999 with his racist and homophobic remarks in a Sports Illustrated story? He’s back (he never really went away – more on that below), and he’s going to be on the next season of Survivor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting.
The former relief pitcher, now 39, will appear with his girlfriend, businesswoman Julie McGee, on Survivor:San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water, which premieres on CBS September 24 (see this Inquisitr article). This season of the show will revisit the popular “Blood vs. Water” Survivor theme, where contestants arrive on the island in pairs, rather than as individuals.
Among Rocker’s opponents on the next season of Survivor are ditzy Amazing Race twins Nadiya and Natalie Anderson and – get ready for this – at least one gay couple: Broadway actors Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield, according to Entertainment Weekly.
ESPN‘s D’Arcy Maine believes having notorious homophobe Rocker on the same island as a gay couple “won’t end well.” But when asked if he’s concerned about how other contestants will respond to him, he told Entertainment Weekly:
“Not really. I see these folks that I’m getting ready to play this game with as very similar to the 13 years of professional baseball that I played, and the teammates that I played with. Some of my biggest supporters after that [Sports Illustrated] debacle were my current and past teammates.”
That “Sports Illustrated debacle” Rocker is referring to is an article published in 1999, when he was a relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Writer Jeff Pearlman asked Rocker if he would ever consider playing for a New York team. His response was, uh, colorful:
“I’d retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 train to the ballpark looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”
Since his baseball career, Rocker hasn’t done much of a job keeping his opinions to himself. His Twitter feed is like a train wreck; it’s horrifying, but you can’t look away. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided a screen cap of this gem, which is actually one of his tamer tweets:
Rocker will be competing for Survivor’s $1 million prize, but it’s not like he needs the money; according to Celebrity Net Worth, he’s worth $2.5 million.
Are you looking forward to seeing John Rocker’s shenanigans on the next season of Survivor? Let us know below.
Image courtesy of: Hall Of Very Good, Atlanta Journal-Constitution