The Miami Marlins debuted a new air-conditioned stadium last week in the hopes that it would draw in bigger crowds than they’re used to seeing, but a recent gaffe made by team manager Ozzie Guillen could undo all their hard work.
Guillen, who has a World Series win under his belt as well as a reputation for speaking his mind, said in a recent Time magazine story that he “loves” infamous dictator Fidel Castro, a statement which offended the sensibilities of the Cuban population–especially those living in Miami.
“I respect Fidel Castro,” Guillen said. “You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (SOB) is still here.”
Various requests for Guillen’s resignation have been declared by the Cuban community in Miami and protests are expected tomorrow.
“We strongly disagree with the opinion of Ozzie Guillen, and consider it a provocation against the Cuban and Venezuelan communities,” said Miguel Saavedra, head of Vigilia Mambisa. “Tomorrow starts a boycott. We are asking for the resignation of Guillen.”
In a rare display of contrition, Guillen later apologized for hurting the Cuban community with his comments.
“I want to apologize for the things (I said) that hurt somebody’s feelings,” Guillen said. “I want them to know I’m against everything … the way (Castro has) treated people the last 60 years. I’ve read a lot about him.”
News of Guillen’s controversial words has been making the rounds on the web today.
About suspending Ozzie Guillen for his Castro remarks: if you think he – or you – are protected by the 1st Amendment, I suggest you read it
Has to come as a surprise to the Marlins that after hiring Ozzie Guillen he’s acting…like Ozzie Guillen.