Breaking down comments by Marlins president

David Samson did not say people in Miami aren't smart

Published On: Mar 07 2012 08:35:53 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 08 2012 04:10:18 PM EST
MIAMI -

While we were all busy chasing Peyton Manning around town, another story was gaining local attention in the sports world.

Marlins president David Samson was quoted in a local newspaper as making some very controversial and insulting comments about the people of Miami during a speech to the Beacon Council on Tuesday.

I just listened to his speech.  We had a reporter at the event as part of our coverage of the opening of Marlins Park.

WATCH: David Samson's speech

Let me make one thing clear.  Listening to Samson, he came across as arrogant at times, but in his defense, his quotes were taken out of context.

He was speaking to the audience in attendance and not specifically about the people of Miami.  Remember, these people listening were business leaders and a big part of our community.  We're talking about some very successful and hard working people.

Samson said this when talking to them about the role of government and a citizen of the community.

"Politicians are focused on raising money, re-election and they're forced to blow in the wind of constituents.  And constituents don't necessarily know every part of every issue.  That's not their jobs.  They have other jobs as citizens of this community.  So I don't think anyone in this room has the ability to speak completely, intellectually on every issue that confronts the local government.  That's not saying we (the people in the room) are not the smartest people in Miami.   My guess is if you're in this room, we're immediately in the top 1%.  But the fact is, there's so much we have to do in our everyday lives and we're all running our businesses and doing our work, that government has their own separate role."

Okay.  Did you get that?  Samson is speaking to the audience and not the people of Miami.  He didn't say people in Miami are dumb.  To me, he merely pointed out that the people in the room were some of the smartest and most successful people in our community.  He was speaking directly to them.

Now, Samson did go on to say some things about politicians and money in his typical tongue and cheek style.  His type of attitude and humor is not for everyone.  I confess that plenty of times he's come across to me in interviews as too arrogant for his own good.

All that said, his words were twisted in this case, and that's why we didn't run the story.