Former Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella has apologized for rules violations that led to him being banned from baseball for life, saying he’s “disgraced and humbled” by his actions.
In his first statement since losing his job and receiving the harshest sanctions Major League Baseball can dole out, Coppolella said Tuesday he felt like he needed:
“To address what happened and speak to those affected.”
Coppolella issued his apology in a five-paragraph statement sent out to media outlets. He described himself as “devastated and embarrassed” and seemed to acknowledge that he’ll never be allowed back into baseball, saying his mistakes “cost me my dream job and my future in the game that I love.”
Here is his full statement:
To this point I have not commented about my departure from the Atlanta Braves. I have been hesitant to speak publicly as my family and I have been devastated and embarrassed by the repercussions of my actions. I realize now that I need to address what happened and speak to those affected.
To everyone who supports the Atlanta Braves and to everyone who loves the game of baseball, I am deeply sorry.
Throughout my 20-year baseball career my singular focus has been to help make my team more successful. I am heartbroken that in this case my conduct has done the opposite for the Atlanta Braves organization. I accept full responsibility for my actions.
To those in the baseball industry, including employees of the Braves and other organizations who feel I was in any way disrespectful or dishonest, I apologize. To the Commissioner's Office, who spent many extra hours dealing with such an unfortunate situation, please accept my apology. To the Braves fans and to those in the front office who supported me throughout my time as General Manager, please know that I understand and accept your anger and frustration. To my family, who has stood by my side throughout this entire ordeal, I love you so much and I am sorry for the pain my actions have caused you.
I have learned the lesson of a lifetime, as my mistakes have cost me my dream job and my future in the game that I love. I hope that other people, regardless of their profession, use this as a cautionary tale when making their own business decisions. I have been disgraced and humbled, and I will strive for the rest of my life to live honorably so that this is not my defining moment.
Coppolella was fired by the Braves when Major League Baseball discovered major violations in the international free-agent market. The team forfeited the rights to 13 prospects and faces major restrictions on signing players outside the United States for the next several years.
Some of the prospects lost by the Braves have already sign with new teams, like Kevin Maitan with the Angels and Yefri del Rosario with the Royals.