Samson: Quotes a mischaracterization

Samson: Quotes a mischaracterization

Samson: Quotes a mischaracterization
MIAMI -- Marlins president David Samson found himself on Wednesday clarifying some remarks that were reported in Miami Today.

Samson's comments came during a speech he gave on Tuesday to the Beacon Council regarding his 50-mile run to raise money for charities on April 4.

Miami Today quoted Samson as saying: "I don't have to hold back now that the stadium is built. We're not the smartest people in Miami. If you're in this room, you're instantly in the top one percent."

On Wednesday, Samson said that his comments were a mischaracterization, noting he wasn't insulting the intelligence of Miami residents.

"We were talking about charity, and we are the top one percent, fortunate people," Samson said. "We are the fortunate one percent, and we have to give back. I was talking about my run. It's a complete misquote."

Channel 10 in Miami provided audio of what Samson said in its entirety:

"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 one percent. 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."

Another quote taken from the Beacon Council meeting regarded talks between the Marlins and Las Vegas a few years ago, when the team was exploring other markets in the event a new ballpark wasn't built in Miami.

The Miami Today story quoted Samson as saying: "We don't care if nobody comes [in Las Vegas]. We'll play in front of nobody, and we'll have all the money."

Samson on Wednesday noted that in those conversations about a potential stadium in Las Vegas, it was discussed that the casinos would buy up all the suites and tickets, which meant it wouldn't matter if fans were in the seats from a revenue standpoint. That didn't mean that the team didn't care if fans showed up.

"We were talking about the ballpark in Vegas, not Miami," Samson said on Wednesday. "The Vegas ballpark would have been all suites, no seats. The casinos would buy them all, and buy all the food in advance. And if gamblers wanted to come, they'd come, if they didn't want to come, they didn't have to come. Either way, the team would make its money. It was Vegas, not Miami."

The Marlins are preparing to open their inaugural season at Marlins Park on April 4, and the team is in the process of rebranding itself in Miami.

"We love the ballpark, and we want our fans to come and love our ballpark too," Samson said. "This was a speech given to 75 business leaders that was completely mischaracterized."