Miami Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen has once again made an ass of himself.
Despite working in Miami, and managing a team that plays in an area called Little Havana, Guillen said in an interview that he respects how Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has stayed in power over the years. Actually, he said "I love Fidel Castro.... I respect Fidel Castro, you know why? A lot of guys have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that guy is still here."
He said this despite having a huge Cuban American population in the Miami area. Cuban Americans who most likely all have a horror story of family or friends being killed or arrested by Castro.
Guillen came out later and said it was a misinterpretation of what he said, since English is not his first language. I'm sorry, I'm not buying it.
Guillen has a history of saying whatever he wants, and facing little consequences because it's just Ozzie being Ozzie. What words did he or could he use that sounded like the statements above that led to a misinterpretation?
Then there are the people who are defending Ozzie by making the classic First Amendment defense. These individuals don't really understand the First Amendment. Yes, it gives us the freedom of speech. But that is in the sense that we can't be arrested for sharing our opinions. We can say our president is an idiot, or the government is corrupt and there isn't a damn thing Congress can do about it.
Nowhere in the First Amendment does it say that you can say whatever you want and not have to suffer consequences for doing so. Ozzie's statement could hurt the Miami Marlins and their business. They have every right to suspend him like they did, or fire him if it comes back to really hurt the Marlins.
Your boss can do the same thing if you say something that is clearly offensive.
This isn't the first time he's been incredibly insensitive. A few years ago he called a columnist a gay slur. I get that English isn't his first language, but the same goes for a lot of Major League Baseball personalities and I don't hear them praising dictators and using slurs in public.
I'm glad there was some punishment and I'm hoping he learns to keep censor himself a little better. Chances are he won't, but maybe MLB and others will finally stop giving Ozzie a free pass since he is a character.
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