04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker has apologized for his remarks about foreigners, minorities and gays that set off a firestorm of criticism, but he denied that he's a racist. "I just went a little too far," Rocker said Wednesday in an ESPN interview. The interview was his first since an uproar erupted last month over his comments in a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED profile. (In the article, Rocker, 25, said he would never play for a New York team because he didn't want to ride in a subway train "next to some queer with AIDS." He also said he is "not a very big fan of foreigners" and asked, "How the hell did they get in this country?") Queried Wednesday on what he would think of a person who would make such comments, he replied: "I'd think he was a complete jerk."