Former Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella, who was permanently banned by Major League Baseball two weeks ago, apologized for his transgressions on Tuesday in a written statement.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Coppolella said he’s been “humbled and disgraced” and is “deeply sorry” for his actions, apologizing to the Braves, the fans, commissioner Rob Manfred's office and his family.
Coppolella, who resigned on Oct. 2, was placed on MLB's permanently ineligible list by Manfred for violations on the international player market. MLB also declared 13 of the Braves prospects free agents.
"I have been hesitant to speak publicly as my family and I have been devastated and embarrassed by the repercussions of my actions," said Coppolella. "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."
Coppolella, 38, was promoted to general manager of the Braves after the 2015 season under John Hart. He was heavily involved in trades that included closer Craig Kimbrel, outfielders Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, shortstop Andrelton Simmons and pitcher Shelby Miller.
Here is the 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.