Sean Gregory’s recent article in TIME Magazine opened with a powerful quote from the unfiltered mouth of Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen. Guillen blurted out the unjustifiable four words that no Cuban or Cuban-American will ever be able to understand, “I love Fidel Castro.”
Since then the Venezuelan-born manager has backtracked and apologized for his arrogant comments, but to some people his apology will never be enough.
Diana Quevedo is a Cuban-American who lives locally and she was an elite college athlete who has ties to both NCAA and professional athletics today. For her, Ozzie’s words hit home because her family has lost so much to the Castro regime. Her grandfather’s Baptist church and orphanage were taken from him, and he along with his 14-year-old son were sent to work camps in coffee bean fields outside of Havana.
“I think Ozzie spoke without thinking, his comments about his admiration for a person that is responsible for so much blood, so much suffering, so much division and pain shows that he is out of touch with the immediate community that supports and loves the team he manages,” Quevedo said.
Quvedo is also one of the many Cuban-Americans who did not buy the apology Guillen made in front of the media in Miami on his team’s off day.
“His apologies made things worse,” Quevedo continued, “Managing a team with bleachers full of people that still carry the scars from communist oppression and making those statements, will have a negative impact on his effectiveness as a manager, as a member of the community and as the face representing the team in the community.”
The Marlins announced that Ozzie Guillen would be suspended for five games and ownership is obviously hopeful that the manager’s comments will be forgiven before they can hurt them at the box office, because a team who plays their home games in Little Havana can not afford a boycott from the Cuban Community.
Some are under the belief that Guillen is a great baseball mind and that this was just the latest episode in “Ozzie being Ozzie.” Others clearly feel that Guillen’s words cannot be forgiven and that he needs to go sooner rather than later.
Where do you stand?