White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen called Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti a “fag” in a profanity laced tirade earlier this week.
In a press conference the following day, Guillen refused to back down from his comments about Mariotti, but said he apologized if anyone else was offended.
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig fined Guillen and ordered him to attend sensitivity training, according to the Associated Press.
"Ozzie Guillen used language that is offensive and completely unacceptable," Selig said in a statement on MLB.com. "Baseball is a social institution with responsibility to set appropriate tone and example. Conduct or language that reflects otherwise will not be tolerated. The use of slurs embarrasses the individual, the club and the game."
The White Sox front office also responded. "We certainly don't think it was Ozzie's intent to disparage any group of people," Scott Reifert, White Sox vice president of communications, told the Chicago Tribune. "His comments were directed towards one person, towards Jay. But that said, it was probably a poor choice of words and certainly appears insensitive. That's not something that we stand for as an organization."
It’s not the first time Guillen has gone off the deep end with the anti-gay slurs. Last August, he greeted a friend in the dugout by yelling, "Hey, everybody, this guy's a homosexual! He's a child molester,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Mariotti struck back in his Sun-Times column, calling for Guillen’s suspension. “Obviously, Guillen hasn't learned his lesson about using such ugly language,” Mariotti wrote. “He hasn't because his boss, Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, is an enabler who is letting Ozzie run amok, whether it's offending homosexual groups that want Guillen punished or saying someone should ‘shoot the [bleep]’ after Jason Grimsley served as a steroids informant in a federal investigation.”
Guillen told the Sun-Times that the term is different in his native Venezuela and that he has no problem with homosexuals. “To me, everybody's the same,” he said. “We're human beings created by God. Everybody has their own opinion and their own right to do what they want to do. You have the right to feel the way you want to feel. Nobody can take that away from you."