The official fallout from Ozzie Guillen’s expression of love for former Cuban President Fidel Castro has begun.
The Miami Marlins have suspended Guillen for five games, without pay.
That may not be good enough, though. Fans and members of the Latino community in Miami are calling for him to be fired.
Here is the controversial excerpt from the TIME Magazine interview:
I love Fidel Castro,” Blurts Ozzie Guillen, the new manager of the Miami Marlins, in his Jupiter, Fla., spring-training office before an early-March team workout.
During a press conference Tuesday, Guillen expressed embarrassment and sadness. He claims that his Castro comment was a poorly expressed English translation to a comment yelled out behind him during the TIME interview.
I want to buy that. I do. Ozzie’s broken English is part of his allure and charm. It makes me swoon. But, this time, not so much.
He recognizes that he has to repair his relationship with the Latino community in Miami and beyond. He has a home there and plans to live there for the rest of his days.
I can’t imagine what his wife, Ibis, is going through. All these years she has stood by Ozzie, tried and true, but this has to hurt.
Here are a few quotes from the presser….
I think fix my problem with the community is more important to me than suspension and money.”
I don’t blame those people to think what they think in their head. They have all the right to be hurt by what I said.”
Politics has noting to do with sports and I was very stupid, very naive about the comment and that’s the reason why I’m here because I want to try to make this thing better and people [to] know exactly what I feel.”
Being the huge Ozzie fan that I have been since his playing days in a Chicago White Sox uniform, I am sick about this. There are people in my hometown who are smiling. Not I. I never want to see anyone under pressure this way, but this is Ozzie’s cross to bear.
He made this bed and I hope he has a comfy pillow and I hope he doesn’t get fired.