After being banned from baseball two weeks ago, former Braves general manager John Coppolella is speaking out for the first time since the ruling.
Coppolella sent an email to ESPN apologizing to the Braves, fans, colleagues, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, and his family. He said he’s “heartbroken” over what happened and has been “disgraced and humbled.”
“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 wrote.
“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,” Coppolella said. “To everyone who supports the Atlanta Braves and to everyone who loves the game of baseball, I am deeply sorry.”
Former Braves GM John Coppolella banned for life by MLB
Coppolella was hit with a lifetime ban from baseball for his role in the “violations of Major League Rules,” after previously resigning from his position in October. MLB has been investigating the team’s international signing practices and determined that the Braves circumvented the rules for international signing bonuses.
“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,” Coppolella said.
Manfred released a statement two weeks ago announcing the ban that was “effective immediately.”
The Braves also lost out on 12 international prospects after the league freed the players from their contracts with the team. Atlanta now cannot sign any international players for more than $10,000 during the 2019-2020 window, and their international signing pool was reduced by 50 percent, according to ESPN.
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Following the league’s announcement, the Braves released a statement accepting the punishment.
“As we expressed last week, our organization has not lived up to the standard our fans expect from us and that we expect from ourselves,” the team said. “For that, we apologize. We are instituting the changes necessary to prevent this from ever happening again and remain excited about the future of Braves baseball.”
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