Fennelly: An apology to Roberto Aguayo
The other day, writing about the Bucs waiving kicker Roberto Aguayo, I began this way:
It thought it was funny and meant no harm. It sounded like Aguayo’s last name, which happens to end in ‘o.’
But it was Times reader Gerry Hilt of Seminole, who is far more eloquent than I am, who pointed something out:
I know we live in a time when political correctness seems to border on the ridiculous at times. However, I think your use of the made-up word ‘Goodbye-o’ was a little insensitive. I'm not sure if it was intended to be funny or clever, but it was neither.
I can't tell you the number of times I've heard people mock Mexicans by adding an ‘o’ after a word. This may seem trivial, but to a person of Mexican descent it is not.”
Mr. Hilt shouldn’t have needed to point this out to me. I apologize to anyone I might have offended and will strive to do better.
I’ll let Mr. Hilt finish.
Not to beat you up too much. I did enjoy your column and thought it was right on point. Just to be clear, I am not what you would call a bleeding-heart liberal. I am a 71-year-old Vietnam veteran who served with a diverse group of men. While I don't profess to like everyone or to support their causes, I do give them my respect until they show me they no longer deserve it.
Thanks, Gerry, for your insight.