Outspoken baseball legend Ozzie Guillen, hired this winter to lead the rebranded Miami Marlins into a bright new future, was served a five-game suspension Tuesday after he praised Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in a magazine interview. "I love Fidel Castro," the Marlins manager told TIME. "You know why? A lot of people wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years but that motherfucker is still here." Though Guillen has apologized for his remarks, angry fans and local politicians, particularly those in Miami's vibrant Cuban community, are calling for his firing. Should Guillen lose his job?
Yes. Send him packing: Guillen apologized, and a five-game suspension may be the bureaucratically-correct thing to do, says Teresa Puente at Chicago Now. "But he will never be forgiven by the Cuban community in Miami." Considering all they have suffered at the hand of Castro, no amount of repentance will be enough to win back their loyalty, or "undo the political damage he has caused and the economic impact it will have on the team." If the Marlins want to move on, they must tell Ozzie, "Adios."
"Marlins suspend Ozzie Guillen over Castro comments by they should have fired him"
No. A suspension is plenty: This is right course of action — "at least until the next time he self-destructs," says Michael Mayo at the Sun-Sentinel. True, the "stupendous insensitivity" of Guillen's Castro remarks raise serious questions about whether he can lead a baseball franchise heavily invested in a new Little Havana location and "Latino-accented rebranding efforts." But a suspension should be enough to send the message that his comments were just plain dumb, and should "smooth hurt feelings in the Cuban community."
"Should Ozzie Guillen be fired or forgiven after 'I love Fidel' flap?"
Love him or hate him, this is Ozzie Guillen: This latest remark tops the list of "the most stupid things Guillen has said," says Stan McNeal at Sporting News. "Which is saying something." His spitfire reputation is one of the reasons the Marlins hired him in the first place, "to generate headlines," particularly among Miami's Latino community. Obviously, he went too far this time. But "he would not be Ozzie Guillen if he didn't make ridiculous comments." He shouldn't be fired, nor should he be discouraged from continuing to speak his mind. "You even could say he was just doing his job… just more stupidly than usual."
"Commentary: What will Ozzie Guillen say next? It better be something smarter than his Castro comments"