Opinion

Staff Editorial 4/12: Marlins manager’s words rash, but protected

On Tuesday, the Miami Marlins’ manager, Ozzie Guillen, was suspended for five games without pay after comments he made about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro were featured in Time magazine.
“I love Fidel Castro,” Guillen told Time. “I respect Fidel Castro, you know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that motherf****r is still here.”
Guillen’s comments came just one week after the grand opening of the new Marlins Park, which is located in the heart of Little Havana, a neighborhood predominantly made up of Cubans, many of whom were born in the island nation. He caught a flight from Philadelphia back to Miami just days after his comments were released to apologize to the fans.
Guillen apologized a countless number of times in English and Spanish, and said that his comments about Castro were “the biggest mistake of his life.”
Although Guillen’s comments could be considered inappropriate and were disrespectful to those who endured Castro’s regime, the First Amendment is all-inclusive. Guillen, along with every U.S. citizen, is entitled to his own opinion and has the right to speak freely and openly. The right to free speech should be applied to all situations regardless of the person, situation, status and location.
Many do not agree with Guillen’s negligent and ignorant comments, and that is understandable. But he cannot take back what was said. In fact, if members of the Cuban community want to target their feelings of distress and anger at someone, it should be at Fidel Castro. He is the man that destroyed Cuba, not Ozzie Guillen.
The Marlins’ manager is known for being outspoken and, at times, controversial. He has been criticized in the past for a gay slur he made to a Chicago-area sports columnist, and for praising Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Clearly, he’s a repeat offender, and should seriously consider using his frontal lobe before speaking and offending half of his team’s fanbase. But his comments, nonetheless, are protected. We live in the United States, not in Cuba.
There is no doubt that Guillen’s comments were uncalled for, irrational and offensive. He is a public figure in the Miami community who has assumed the role of a leader in his new city. Guillen should be a role model for children, fans and his team. As an important person in a predominantly Cuban community he has the responsibility to maintain his professionalism, which he failed to do when he blurted out comments he said he deeply regrets.
However, as student journalists, it is difficult to deny Guillen his right to voice his beliefs, even if they come with a price. Guillen is already paying his.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

April 12, 2012

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Staff Editorial 4/12: Marlins manager’s words rash, but protected”

  1. NotSoDuh says:

    The point she is making, DUH, is that he was basically “silenced” and had to recant his opinion in this country where the First Amendment protects his right to be an idiot.

  2. Duh says:

    Is Ozzie Guillen in jail? Has he been executed? Is he being deported? No. No one is arguing that his speech is not protected by the First Amendment. You are stating the obvious.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Seeking a college experience within a diverse community, this graduate found her home away from home ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

The top graduate from UM's School of Education and Human Development shines in the classroom. ...

‘Part-Time Junior’ Sculpts Her Way to a B.F.A. ...

Students in University of Miami’s School of Communication’s Orange Umbrella Student Consultancy garn ...

Hurricanes earn highest ranking since March 2013. ...

Walker IV recorded a career-high 26 points, seven rebounds in the win over Boston U. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, was name ...

After its longest break of the season thus far, the University of Miami women's basketball team ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.