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Old 06-22-2006, 12:28 AM   #1
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"I don't have anything against those people."

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NEW YORK (SI.com) -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen used a homosexual slur to describe prominent Chicago columnist Jay Mariotti, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Before the White Sox's game Tuesday against St. Louis, Guillen said -- in reference to Mariotti, who recently criticized the White Sox manager for demoting rookie pitcher Sean Tracey after he recently refused to throw at the Rangers' Hank Blalock -- "What a piece of shit he is, fucking fag.

"I don't have anything against those people. In my country, you call someone something like that and it is not the same as it is in this country."

According to the Sun-Times, Guillen explained that in his native Venezuela, the word in question is not used to describe a person's sexuality, rather his courage.

Sun-Times columnist Greg Couch, in his Wednesday column, called for MLB commissioner Bud Selig to suspend Guillen for using a "hurtful homophobic" term.

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ESPN.COM - Outspoken Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen apologized Wednesday for using a derogatory term in referring to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, then kept up his criticism of the writer.

Guillen went into a profanity-laced tirade against Mariotti before Tuesday night's game against St. Louis and called him a number of names, including a derogatory term that is often used to describe someone's sexual orientation.

Before Wednesday night's game, Guillen acknowledged that his use of the word might have offended some.

"I shouldn't have mentioned the name that was mentioned, but I'm not going to back off of Jay," Guillen said, using another profanity to describe Mariotti, a contributor on ESPN's "Around The Horn."

"The word I used, I should have used something different. A lot of people's feelings were hurt and I didn't mean it that way."

Guillen said he had spoken to White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf about the incident.

"Jay, I think I made this guy a lot of money and he's famous. If not for Ozzie Guillen, no one would have heard of him," Guillen said. "If I hurt anybody with what I called him, I apologize."

Angry with a recent column by Mariotti critical of Guillen's handling of recently demoted relief pitcher Sean Tracey and upset with Mariotti over past columns, Guillen said to reporters when referring to Mariotti before Tuesday's game, "What a piece of shit he is, fucking fag."

Mariotti, commenting on "Around The Horn" on Wednesday, believes a suspension is in order for Guillen.

When reached before Wednesday night's St. Louis-Chicago game, Mariotti said that the story is the gay groups who have been insulted, and not him.

But Mariotti added that he is not meeting Guillen or going to the White Sox clubhouse because he has been the subject of physical threats while there over the past few years and the White Sox have refused to do anything about it.

"I'm taking a stand," Mariotti said. "I've received physical threats through the years and the White Sox have done nothing to address it.

"I've said, 'If you guys are not going to do anything about this, I'm going to stop coming in there.' "

In a phone interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday night, Mariotti said his Thursday column will call for Guillen to be suspended.

"I'm a big guy. I have to accept the criticism," Mariotti said in a phone interview Wednesday night. "I'm appalled that he can use these ugly slurs and think it's an acceptable form of retaliation in American life. It's not."

Scott Reifert, the Chicago White Sox vice president of communications, said he was aware of one incident in 1997 of a shouting match between Mariotti and Tony Phillips, then a White Sox player. He said team officials and officials from the newspaper had lunch in the 90s to discuss Mariotti's complaints.

Since then, he said, the team has written letters to Mariotti and the newspaper offering to have a meeting and have offered to close the clubhouse for Mariotti to meet with the players, but the White Sox have not received any responses.

Reifert said the team had had good relationships with reporters and columnists and the team "stands on its reputation" for being open and accessible to reporters.

Commissioner's office spokesman Rich Levin said that Bud Selig learned of Guillen's remarks Wednesday afternoon.

"All I'm going to say at this point is that we're going to look into it," Levin told ESPN.com. He declined further comment.

Columnist Greg Couch of the Sun-Times wrote a column Wednesday in response, calling for commissioner Bud Selig to suspend Guillen for his use of a "hurtful homophobic" term.

Before writing the column, Couch asked Guillen for an explanation. Guillen defended his use of the term "fag" by saying this about homosexuals and the use of the word in question: "I don't have anything against those people. In my country, you call someone something like that and it is not the same as it is in this country.''

Guillen said that in his native Venezuela, that word is not a reference to a person's sexuality, but to his courage. He said he was saying that Mariotti is "not man enough to meet me and talk about [things before writing].''

Guillen also told Couch that he has gay friends, attends WNBA games, went to a Madonna concert and plans to go to the Gay Games in Chicago.

"I called that of this man [Mariotti],'' he told Couch. "I'm not trying to hurt anybody [else]."

Reifert offered to apologize on behalf of the organization when approached by Couch.

"To anybody who was insulted or hurt by that comment ... as an organization, we'll certainly apologize," Reifert told Couch.
this man is an utter piece of crap and a disgrace to the game of baseball. if the chicago white sox had any guts whatsoever, they would fire him on the spot.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:37 AM   #2
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Shocking that ESPN is painting Mariotti as a victim.
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:08 AM   #3
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I still hear many people use that term. While using profanity of any sort usually demonstrates a lack of self control, those using the term are usually not saying the person is a homosexual - they are just saying the person is a "wus" or "weak." The word has changed meaning from when I was in high school.

I think everyone is making a big deal out of nothing. We are getting to the point where nobody can say anything. At the end of the day - do we really care what this coach said about a columnist? I mean - really? If you are that upset, then you should really check your priorities.
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:18 AM   #4
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One of the most homophobic places in the world is a men's locker room. So maybe instead of pretending to make this Guillen thing an issue, we could address that, which any homosexual player would never in a million years "come out" while playing for fear of....God knows what. Nobody gives a shit right now because it doesn't make a splash until you have someone specific to villify.

He apologized, that's all you can ask.
Spare me yet another 'lastest news cycle' false outrage.
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:15 AM   #5
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Although what he did was really wrong what he said is true: the word "marica" (something like "fag") in Venezuela and Colombia means more things than "gay" it means also:
+ a coward person
+ a cheap, silly or meaningless thing. the word "maricaditas" is often used to name cute and small things. the hello kitty items are "maricaditas" for example. in fact there are a few (cheap) gift stores with that name here in Bogot√° and nobody has got offended .
+ sometimes the word is used as the same way as "dude", in a not offending way, between close friends.
+ a simple exclamation, just like when you said "oh fuck!" or "damn it" we say "hay marica!"
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:02 AM   #6
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if a coach of a professional sports team started using slurs that refer to blacks, or jews, or hispanics i highly doubt anyone would see it as "no big deal" or that i "need to get my priorities checked."

there would be outrage. we wouldn't even be discussing it, because he would have already been fired.

imagine if the context was changed... imagine if he used the N word, and then played it off by saying "oh i don't have anything against those people." he stereotyped in his appology for pete's sake.

i'm sorry if i feel this is a much bigger issue than some of you do, but i do... pretending to make this an issue instead of addressing the real problem? don't you think the fact that he can make comments like this and people are shrugging it off is part of the real problem?

unbelievable...
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
and then played it off by saying "oh i don't have anything against those people." he stereotyped in his appology for pete's sake.
I thought that was the most dubious bit about it all
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Old 06-22-2006, 09:18 AM   #8
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He should be dealt with in the same way professional sports deals with racist or anti-Semitic slurs.

Melon
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:09 AM   #9
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Old 06-22-2006, 10:22 AM   #10
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Did anybody catch where Ozzie tried to explain that the use of the word 'fag' is different where he comes from? He tried to explain that in Latin America the word is used to mean 'coward'.

Nice try...Ozzie.
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Old 06-22-2006, 11:38 AM   #11
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I agree with melon, he should be treated as if he'd used the "n" word or whatever.
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Old 06-22-2006, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by The OOTS
Did anybody catch where Ozzie tried to explain that the use of the word 'fag' is different where he comes from? He tried to explain that in Latin America the word is used to mean 'coward'.

Nice try...Ozzie.
so what about what muggsy said?


I completely agree with U2DMfan, there is a larger problem at hand here.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:09 PM   #13
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Of course there's a larger problem here, but that doesn't mean we can't be outraged at Guillen for saying what he did.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:11 PM   #14
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I think Marge Schott was sanctioned for similar types of comments in the 90s, so maybe a similar standard should be used.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:16 PM   #15
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Of course there's a larger problem here, but that doesn't mean we can't be outraged at Guillen for saying what he did.
I never said people couldn't be outraged. Unfortunately Guillen has a history of not controlling his mouth. He should be fined and/or suspended, not fired.
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