Saturday, June 24, 2006


Guillen Balks At Sensitivity Training

It would just be a formality

If this is true, good for Ozzie:
After speaking to reporters about his reported feud with Houston Astros manager Phil Garner and other assorted topics, the White Sox’ manager had a short chat with Enrique Rojas, a reporter for ESPN’s Spanish Web site,

According to Rojas, Guillen says he has no intention of attending the sensitivity training that Commissioner Bud Selig ordered as part of Guillen’s punishment for using a homosexual slur earlier in the week.

“I don’t think I’ll be going. I don’t think that’ll happen,” Guillen said, according to the story that appeared on the Web about halfway through the game. “I’ll do what I have to do, at least when I have time, but I don’t think I’ll take those sensitivity lessons.”

Asked about that interview after the game, Guillen got defensive, suggesting he is being picked on.

“I’m going to start being nastier to the media,’’ Guillen said.
That's something I'd really like to see, especially if players were ones behaving that way.

Though I didn't see it all, Comcast broadcast a clip of Guillen addressing the subject of sensitivity training by saying something to the effect that those conducting such a session should learn to speak Spanish because he didn't think he'd understand what was said if it were said in English. His point seemed to be (I'm speculating -- I didn't see the whole clip) that, as Spanish would be an alien language to those conducting the training, sensitivity would remain a language alien to him.

Assuming I heard him right it was a shrewd way to underscore the culture clash between people who compete for a living and do so successfully despite the lack of a formal education and those whose job it is to shape public perceptions and propagate/enforce political correctness; those who command respect through accopmlishment and those who demand respect because...well, you know why.

I'm not defending Guillen's remark. He was wrong to call Jay Mariotti a fag. He has appologized to those he may have offended (I'm among them) and that should be enough. But because he offended the media -- the gravest sin possible for a public figure -- he will probably be bullied into performing some media approved act of contrition.

On a related topic, I rarely watch/read media coverage of sports anymore. I just watch the games and read box scores if I so desire. Part of the reason for this (admittedly a small part) is that I have become disgusted with the way members of the media behave. The arrogance and lack of respect, bordering on outright contempt, members of the media seem to have for the players is simply offensive. And I don't just mean professional rabble rousers like Jay Mariotti. For example, watch any formal press conference involving MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL players following an important game/series. See how often reporters, instead of asking a question, make a curt demand for a soundbite. They say something like 'Talk (again!) about that play from the third quarter' or 'Talk (more!) about that pitch you threw to Player X that he hit for a home run.' The player may have already discussed the play at length, but the reporter lacks an original question and can't pass up the opportunity to hear himself talk and/or simply wants the player to deliver a particular soundbite for his own reasons. How hard is it to, at the very least, preface such a satement with 'Can you' or simply say please?


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