A baseball legend apologized today for a comment he made about Fidel Castro after news broke that his team, the Miami Marlins, has suspended him from his job as manager for five games, USA Today reports.
Ozzie Guillen talked about the incident in a televised news conference, saying in Spanish: "I’m sorry that I hurt the community without any intention. I’m here to say I’m sorry."
Guillen’s original comment, in which he indicated he had respect for Castro, created an uproar in Miami’s Cuban-American community, which forms a large part of the fan base for the Marlins. But Guillen, the Marlins’ first-year manager, said today that he felt his meaning was lost in the translation between Spanish and English.
Said Guillen: "I don’t want to make excuses. But I meant that I was surprised Fidel Castro stayed in power so long. That’s what was missing in the translation. … I’m not saying the journalist was wrong. I was wrong. I was thinking in Spanish and I said it wrong in English."
"He has done a lot of bad things," Guillen added, referring to Castro. "That’s why I am surprised he has stayed in power so long."
The report notes: “The news conference was held at the new ballpark built in the Little Havana section of Miami and was broadcast on video screens in the plaza outside the stadium.”
Guillen apologized numerous times, speaking in both Spanish and English. "I’m embarrassed," he said. "I live in Miami. I will do everything in my power to try to help the Cuban community, the Latino community. I want to walk the streets feeling good."
Guillen, known throughout his playing career for his outspoken comments, added: "You learn from your mistakes. This was the biggest mistake so far in my life. I’m very guilty … very embarrassed … very sad … very stupid."