Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Should freedom of speech have protected Ozzie Guillen?

Asked by ETpro (34202 points ) April 10th, 2012

The Miami Marlins baseball team suspended their manager, Ozzie Guillen for 5 games today in response to comments he made in an interview with Time magazine. In the interview, Guillen said, “I love Fidel Castro.” Time reported Guillen as saying in the article. “I respect Fidel Castro, you know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that motherf****r is still here.”

Were the Marlins right to suspend him? Are the Cuban Americans calling for his firing right? Isn’t there just a hint of hypocrisy in decrying Castro’s suppression of dissenting voices, but silencing any speech we don’t personally like?

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14 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

It’s a stupid and cliche’ comment that tons of other people have made before because they think it sounds badass, but I don’t think he should be fired for it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I suspect the Marlins did this to satisfy their customer base.

As always, people are free to say whatever they wish to. However, when an employee is being paid to manage a baseball team, the employee isn’t free to give his political opinions to the media.

SavoirFaire's avatar

He isn’t in jail, so the freedom of speech did protect him. The Bill of Rights does not apply to the court of public opinion, however, and what the Marlins did was a business decisions. As business is part of the coach’s job (he doesn’t stay employed if his actions—on the field or off—cause people to stop buying tickets), it makes sense from that perspective.

Rarebear's avatar

The Marlins should have known what they were getting in to when they hired Ozzie. That man has absolutely no filter when it comes to his mouth.

wundayatta's avatar

Right and wrong? Come on, @ETpro. You’ve got your feet firmer on the ground than that. You know perfectly well this is all about public relations and marketing. You can’t say that shit around Cubans, and the Marlin market contains most of the Cubans who live in the US.

Freedom of speech applies only in the public arena. You can not say anything you want and maintain employment. You have to kiss your employer’s ass at all times. In other words, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Guillen has a reputation of letting his tongue go faster than his brain. The Marlins knew what they were getting. This suspension, early in the season, probably won’t matter and it’s just a sop thrown to the Cubans. It is nothing anyone need pay any attention to, unless you are severely starved for meaningless drama.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. He is free to speak what he wishes and he did. He was not arrested for it. But he was fired. Freedom of Speech does NOT equal “freedom to say anything you want and not suffer any consequences from it”. If that were the case we could all tell our bosses off any time we wanted without fear of repercussion.

wundayatta's avatar

He was not fired. Just suspended for 5 games.

rooeytoo's avatar

More political correctness gone mad. Like I keep saying, the only group of people you can safely insult these days is white women!

Ponderer983's avatar

Like others said, it protected him from not going to jail. However, his employer sought disciplinary action. If I went and said something like that to a client of ours, I sure as hell would be fired! Not imprisoned, but jobless nonetheless.

ETpro's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I agree he should not be fired for this specific comment; but given his propensity to operate his mouth before engaging his mind, the Marlins will probably find it a necessity at some point.

@SpatzieLover I’m sure they did out of concern for ticket sales. The Cuban community is pushing for them to do far more. They may have no choice but to comply.

@SavoirFaire That’s why I asked this question. I so often hear the freedom of speech invoked when what is meant is freedom from consequences that I wanted to use this as a vehicle to explore the difference.

@Rarebear Yes, and I’d be surprised if that suddenly changes.

@wundayatt What I said to @SavoirFaire.

@Dutchess_III What @wundayatta said.

@rooeytoo Ha! Seems White Women are off limits. Deny as they may, the GOP is getting nailed in public opinion polls for their War on Women. Seems people judge you not so much by what someone says they do, but by what they actually do.

@Ponderer983 I wouldn’t get fired, because I own the company I work for. But I sure would be pissed off at myself for offending a good client and potentially killing my cash cow.

rooeytoo's avatar

@ETpro – there is a photo of the boys circulating (Rick, Mitt, Newt, what the hell is with those names?) with the caption, “we don’t hate women, we just don’t care what they think.” One of these days hopefully, they will be forced to care.

ETpro's avatar

@rooeytoo I think the “Move along, nothing to see here.” strategy is certain to backfire big-time. It’s the good old boys club saying, “You silly little women just can’t grasp politics. Let us men explain how it is.”

TexasDude's avatar

@ETpro Marlins will probably find it a necessity at some point.

Which is a really good point that I hadn’t considered until other people answered this question. If people stopped buying tickets because of this dude’s loose lips, then I really couldn’t blame them for firing him.

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