In his first public comments since Major League Baseball announced that he was permanently banned from baseball, ex-Braves general manager John Coppolella apologized on Tuesday afternoon for his role in the Braves scandal. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick was first to receive and report on the statement. Coppolella sent the same statement in a text message to Baseball America.
Coppolella apologized to the Braves, baseball fans and the Commissioner's Office. In the aftermath of the investigation, Coppolella was banned from baseball. Twelve Braves players were declared free agents and a 13th player's contract was not approved. The Braves will face international signing restrictions for multiple years and were docked their third-round pick in 2018.
Here is Coppolella's statement in full:
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.