Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen touched the third rail of Florida politics when he said "I love Fidel Castro" in the most recent issue of Time Magazine. As expected, the statement has touched off a firestorm in South Florida's Cuban community, and one group, the hard-line Vigilia Mambisa, plans to protest and boycott the Marlins until Guillen resigns, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Guillen walked back his comment, saying:
"I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still there."
The Marlins are in damage control mode as well. The team released a statement in the wake of Guillen's comments:
"We are aware of the article. There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro. He is a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today."
Walking back Guillen's statements is something of a regular chore for whatever team employs him. Just how much tolerance the Marlins have for this kind of thing remains to be seen.