Greed trumps freedom of speech in MLB
April 14, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2012 at 11:14 p.m.
Editor, the Advocate:
Fidel Castro and Communism is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to Cuba. What started out as the dream of a perfect society turned out to be no better than the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
Because of what Castro has made the Cuban people endure, it is insulting for someone to say that he or she loves and admires this dictator.
After watching/listening to Ozzie Guillen apologize for his comments, I came away with one undeniable fact - money talks. Major League Baseball has invested millions of dollars promoting baseball in southern Florida and the Cuban American community is a major focal point of that effort because without their support, MLB in southern Florida will not flourish.
Guillen's comments infuriated Cuban Americans - the fan base on which MLB is depending. They, in turn, threatened to boycott MLB. MLB saw loss of revenue, succumbed to the pressure and gave Guillen an ultimatum - they probably said "apologize or kiss your baseball career goodbye." Guillen succumbed to MLB pressure and apologized.
Was he made to apologize because he offended the Cuban American community; because he is a famous sports figure; or because he is supposed to be a role model? No, no, and no - he was made to apologize because MLB is in the business to make money and no person or group is more important than the bottom line.
Though Guillen's remarks were distasteful, he was not trying to persuade people to love and admire Castro and he was not being subversive, he was voicing another of his foolish opinions - as Ozzie often does.
Does MLB have the right to deprive him of his freedom of speech? We live in a free society and are guaranteed the right to freedom of speech, and even though we may not agree with everything a person says and we know that not everything each person says is true, we are bound by our laws and our beliefs to defend each person's right to speak freely - without fear of retaliation.
Joe Contreras Jr., Victoria