John Rocker was kind enough to call back and respond to Atlanta sports radio host Steak Shapiro's claims that he verbally assaulted him last night. Rocker says he was provoked.
"Now, just let me say right up front that this all getting blown out of proportion: there was no arrest, I wasn't escorted out, I walked out of the bar with my friend. I just love how this stuff goes from point A to point B in no time."
Rocker called me on the phone about 20 minutes ago and said, yes, he unequivocally cannot stand Steak Shapiro. He called him an ass. He called him "little and fat. " A few times. He said this guy's been "motherfucking me on the radio" for years. He said they did have a shouting match with each other a few years ago at another bar, but that it was more "7th grade, put-down stuff." He said the only reason Steak Shapiro has a job is because his "daddy owns the station." So Rocker doesn't like him. At all.
I relayed to him Shapiro's take on what happened last night, how Rocker supposedly eyeballed him from across the room and then went apeshit when Shapiro asked him if they could be "civil."
"Well, how does somebody know if I'm eyeballing them unless they're eyeballing me," Rocker said. He also claims that Shapiro did ask him if they could be "adults tonight" but he also claims that Steak called him a "redneck" and that's what set him off.
Here's a brief transcript of this portion of our interview:
AJD: So, you did yell at him?
JR: I "dog cussed" him.
AJD: Did you call him a "jew faggot"?
JR: I don't think I said anything about him being Jewish...
AJD: Good! Did you call him a faggot?
JR: I don't know. Maybe. I can't remember.
AJD: Okay...did you call him a "motherfucking cocksucker"?
JR: Yeah, I definitely did. I like saying that. I say that a lot.
Okay, so pretty much everything that Shapiro claims happened did happen, but Rocker says that the only reason it escalated to motherfucking-cocksucking-faggot levels was because Shapiro called him a redneck and he's not going to take that stuff from Shapiro.
"Look, I haven't been in a bar fight since I was 20 years old. I'm not going to punch anybody in the face or do any of that stuff. But when someone comes up to you and disrespects you right to your face, it's almost like they've slapped you. I can't take that. I'm going to say something," he said.
Rocker understands he's a target and that anytime he gets into these types of altercations it's going to make news. But he also says he's just misunderstood and not the politically incorrect bully everyone makes him out to be.
"I've always been good to you guys. Hell, I let Will parade his dumb ass all over the country doing a dialogue skit with me and my girlfriend and I never said anything. I probably should have."