Miami Marlins manager, Ozzie Guillen, got a five-game ban for his club after expressing sympathy for Fidel Castro.
“I love Fidel Castro,” said Guelllin in an interview with Time magazine and added the he admires the work the former Cuban leader did during his nearly 50 years in power.
The Miami Marlins reaction to those words was immediate as the club disqualified the manager and organized a news conference so the 48-year-old could apologize.
“I hurt a lot of people’s feelings, a lot of victims,” Guillen is cited by MLB.com as saying. “I’ve apologized twice and I meant it. I say a lot of things and I never apologize but now I have to because I did the wrong thing. I’m behind the Cuban community. How am I going to make it better? I’m going to show the community that I support them 100 percent.”
There’s a large Cuban community in Miami, with the majority of its members being refugees from Cuba, who fled in search of better life in the US.
“The Marlins acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” the team said in a statement. “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially, in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship.”
The Major League Baseball fully supported the ban on Guillen, with Commissioner Bud Selig, stressing “baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities”.
Venezuelan American, Ozzie Guillen, became the Marlins’ manager in September last year and is now at risk of losing his job after only six months in charge.