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Guillen Apologized for Anti-Gay Slur, Reiterates Feelings About Mariotti

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 22, 2006 7:05PM

2005_09_sports_guillen.jpgWhite Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has certainly gotten himself into a bit of hot water with his derogatory comments about Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti. We called him out on it yesterdayBy last night ESPN had the story as their main feature, and today it's all over the local media.

In response to all of the criticism for his remarks, Ozzie apologized for using the term he used. He tried to explain how the term has a different connotation in his native Venezuela. We're not buying it, Ozzie. And regardless, you've been a high-profile person in the U.S. for over 20 years now. You should know better, especially if, as you claim, you "have friends in that community.''

Guillen, however, made it very clear he still hates Jay Mariotti, calling him a "piece of shit" and "garbage." Will trash now complain that it's unfairly being compared to Mariotti?

Along with the verbal rebukes of Guillen's comments are calls for a suspension. Jay Mariotti himself weighs in, calling for a
two week suspension. However, if Jay suggests that, then that'll only sway people away from the idea of forcing Ozzie to take time off.

So what does Chicagoist think? We're kind of torn. On the one hand, there are no MLB rules against being a jerk at times and Guillen's effectiveness is due in part to his shoot from the hip, say anything personality. On the other hand, others who have made insensitive remarks like Marge Schott, Jimmy "the Greek" and others have been suspended or even fired. However, their comments were also directed at people of the particular minority group, not used as an more general insult. So we can appreciate the views of those on both sides of the argument. Would a suspension be more effective, or might a donation of time and money to pro-gay causes end up being more beneficial. There are certainly those who want punishment, first and foremost. But we think it'd be better to use the event as a "teachable moment."

UPDATE: As a result of Guillen's comments on Tueday, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has fined him and ordered him to attend sensitivity training.

Selig said, "On Tuesday night, Ozzie Guillen used language that is offensive and completely unacceptable. Baseball is a social institution with responsibility to set appropriate tone and example. Conduct or language that reflects otherwise will not be tolerated. The use of slurs embarrasses the individual, the club and the game."

Guillen was also suspended 1 game and fined as a result of Tuesday's beanball incident. Relief pitcher David Riske was suspended 3 games.