In the wake of Miami Marlin manager Ozzie Guillen’s comments praising former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, the team has suspended him for 5 games effective Tuesday, according to CNN.
Guillen sparked much controversy amongst the densely Cuban-American populated city of Miami when he told Time magazine recently that he respected Castro for being able to lead Cuba for 6 decades.
“I respect Fidel Castro,” Guillen told Time. “You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still there.”
In an effort to mitigate the damage caused by his hurtful comments Ozzie apologized to those offended by his statements saying, in a Tuesday press conference, that he had “betrayed a Latin community” and that he was speaking to “ask for forgiveness with my heart in my hand.”
Yet although Ozzie apologized, he said that his comments were somewhat taken out of context, noting that “the translation to English was a bit confusing.”
Still, Guillen said he was “very stupid” to make comments outside of baseball and added that he felt that he had let down his community.
“Politics has nothing to do with sports,” he continued.
“This is the biggest mistake so far in my life,” said Guillen.
“I’m very, very, very sorry,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to make it better.”
“I live in Miami, my family is in Miami,” he said. “I will do everything in my power … to help this community like I always do.”
“I’m sitting here very embarrassed and very sad,” he said at the press conference.
“I’m gonna be a Miami guy for the rest of my life,” Guillen said. “I want to walk in the street with my head up and not feel as bad as I feel right now.”
Finally, Guillen re affirmed his intent to follow through on his promises to help out in Miami’s Latin and Cuban communities.
Guillen said that he will not appeal or fight the suspension.
The Marlins released a statement in response to Guillen, noting that Castro was “a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship, and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today.”
“The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship,” added Marlin’s management.
Further, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig agreed with the team imposed sanctions.
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