The famously outspoken former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker is “absolutely” endorsing Donald Trump for president.
“I think he has really woken America up,” Rocker told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview.
The former Atlanta Braves closer, who’s still remembered for making politically incorrect remarks about immigration and New York City in a widely-publicized 1999 interview with Sports Illustrated, believes Trump’s lack of concern for political correctness is inspiring.
“I’m probably as disheartened as everyone else is, as Trump supporters seem to be, with the status quo and the glad-handing politicians and the soundbite politicians always looking for the right comment to make and walking that fine line trying to make every single faction out there, who could be a possible voter, don’t make anybody mad and wear kid gloves,” he said.
“I wish someone, excuse the frankness here, would have the sack, would have the backbone to make unpopular comments, and when folks come out — mainly media, special interest groups, factions, things like that — and just start hammering them and demanding apologies… I’ve always wanted to see the person that’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve made these comments, these are my beliefs, and you know what, if you don’t like it stick it. I’m not apologizing, I’m not changing,” Rocker told TheDC. “I think that is something that millions and millions of Americans have been waiting for probably a decade or two to hear something. Maybe even since Reagan.”In his opinion, “Donald Trump is that guy.”
In response to TheDC asking him whether he is endorsing Trump, he replied, “Absolutely.”
Rocker also likes Trump’s stances on the economy, guns and immigration, which the famous pitcher thinks are the most important issues to the country today.
The former player — who once said he would rather retire than play for a team in New York and called New York Mets fans “degenerates” — said Trump does represent “New York values,” but not in the negative way Ted Cruz is attacking the front-runner for.
“[New Yorkers] are always striving for the best. ‘We want to be the best.’ The best. It can get a little obnoxious and arrogant but at the same time, it can be a good thing,” Rocker said. “Yes it’s a bit of a racket living in New York because everything is so expensive but people who live there, they love it and they’re willing to work damn hard and get callouses on their hands and elbow grease on their elbows just to live there, and I think that’s very commendable in a lot of areas.”
Rocker played for six seasons in the majors before having to throw in the towel due to injuries. His 1999 Sports Illustrated interview — where he made it known he was troubled by the large number of unassimilated foreigners living in New York — shaped his public persona as an outspoken hot-head and resulted in a lengthy suspension during the 2000 season. The creators of the now-defunct HBO comedy “Eastbound & Down” cited Rocker’s image in the media as an inspiration for the series’ protagonist.
Since retiring from baseball, Rocker has written columns for the conservative publication WND and participated in the 2014 season of “Survivor.”