The Miami Marlins announced on Tuesday that they have suspended new manager Ozzie Guillen for five games, in wake of his comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
In an interview with TIME Magazine’s Sean Gregory, Guillen stated at one point “I love Fidel Castro;” the quote of which is the first line in the published online article. The full article is only available to TIME subscribers who have an account with the magazine’s website. The interview simply slams Guillen and makes him appear to be more, let’s say, outgoing, than we already know of. It paints Guillen as, now, a political commentator and a disrespectful human being.
The Cuban community in South Florida has mixed reactions. Some state he should be fired for the comments, others believe the comments are the stupidest he’s made during his career, but deserves a second chance. There are many other opinions coming out of this, but those are just two examples of what we’ve been hearing. Protesters have gathered at Marlins Park in response to Guillen’s comments, and say they won’t back down until he is fired or steps down himself.
I personally believe that Ozzie made a mistake. He’s made several in his career as a manager while with the Chicago White Sox. This is, without a doubt, the worst mistake he’s made, especially with the large Latin and Cuban influence felt in Miami and Southern Florida. But he recognizes the mistake more than anyone. His apology is sincere, and he correctly left the team and returned to Miami to do a press conference– he’s done everything right to fix what he’s done.
He stated the quote was taken out of context, which is true. Even though many people believe he blatantly came out and said “I love Castro” to the interviewer, and although that is exactly how the article starts out, it’s simply not what he meant to say. It came out wrong. His excuses are valid, I will not argue them one bit. But he realizes that excuses won’t fix everything, and is correctly taking full responsibility. He says he’s going to everything in his power to make this right. There is nothing more he could do to fix this situation. Comments like this hit home hard, as you can imagine. People don’t need to reminded of the past. I’m not Cuban; I will never feel the pain felt by the Cubans during Castro’s reign over the country that’s just about 230 miles South of Miami. Whether you want to call me qualified or not to comment on the matter is your choice.
I’ll continue to say his comments were taken out of context. It’s a legitimate fact. Journalists do it on a daily basis, sometimes not purposefully, but most of the time to get page views and notice from the public and other media outlets. Sean Gregory, the man who interviewed Guillen for TIME, should be apologizing for what he did to blow this out of water, whether to Guillen and the Marlins, or to just to TIME’s and his own sake. I personally argue TIME Magazine’s credibility as a news source at this point in time, as it wasn’t what it was doing 20 years ago. But I’m not here to attack TIME itself, but you can just see where this all leads up to when you have a person like Gregory writing. I mean, he took Ozzie’s comments and threw in the “Oh, by the way, he didn’t really mean to say he loved Castro” part in the third paragraph of his article. The third paragraph. Ozzie should’ve thought twice before commenting on the matter, and how even saying “I love Fidel Castro” could be taken out of context- from any media outlet at any time. I think that SCWS at Marlins Daily brings up a great point about the article written by Gregory, and I believe it’s worth your time to read it.
Regardless of Ozzie’s apologies to the Cuban community, the fact the quote is taken out of context, and everything else, Ozzie is doing the correct thing by apologizing and taking responsibility, and I can’t say that enough in this article and in real life. I feel the five-game suspension is right. Is it too much? Absolutely not. Too little? Maybe, but so many people believe that the team comes first, as well as that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution comes into play, and that Ozzie has a right to say what he wants, when he wants. Although an employer has the right to do what they please about a situation of such manner, Ozzie has exercised one of his rights as an American citizen, a reason why people come to this country. To the people who say he should be fired- that’s going too far, it’s way too extreme. We’ve all made mistakes in our life, and many of us don’t have the integrity to admit to a mistake or address it on our own terms. Ozzie is the manager of a professional baseball team, I know; it’s a situation he couldn’t avoid anyways. But I do feel he’s going as far as he can to make this right, and he’s assured of us of it.