Houston Astros’ player suspended for racist behavior, but not until after the World SeriesOn October 29, 2017 by Lucius
The Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel was hit with a suspension after he made racially inappropriate remarks and gestures toward L.A. Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. Gurriel will miss five games – but not until next season, after the current World Series.
“There is complete unanimity – me, my office, both owners, both clubs and the MLBPA – that there is no place in our game for the behavior or any behavior like the behavior we witnessed [Friday] night,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in his announcement of the suspension. “There is no excuse or explanation that makes that type of behavior acceptable.”
Yuli Gurriel should not be allowed to play the rest of the World Series.
— DebraHall@Nitrochx (@devrahall4ever2) October 29, 2017
Gurriel mocked Darvish by pulling up the edges of his eyes, an overtly racist gesture against Asian people (Darvish is of Japanese and Iranian descent). He also used racist slurs during the game, which was the third of seven in the Series.
Gurriel released a formal apology, and Darvish tweeted after the game that it was more important to learn from the incident than the vilify Gurriel. Along with announcing the suspension, the MLB commissioner also offered a sense of why the punishment would be pushed to the 2018 season.
As a post on MLB.com, the league’s official website, lays out:
1. Manfred felt it was important that the suspension carry the penalty of lost salary, which would happen only during the regular season.
2. Manfred felt it was “unfair to punish the other 24 players on the Astros’ roster” during the World Series. “I wanted the burden of the discipline to fall primarily on the wrongdoer,” he said.
3. Impressed by Darvish’s desire to move forward, Manfred felt starting the suspension at the beginning of next season would help.
4. Delaying the suspension would allow Gurriel to exercise his rights under the grievance procedures negotiated between MLB and the MLB Players Association, if he so desired. In the time since Manfred made his decision, he has gotten the sense that Gurriel will not be appealing the suspension.
You may buy those reasons, you may not. Some might say the best approach to really driving the suspension’s message home is to punish the whole team for one player’s actions. It’s clear that many still feel MLB’s response was too lenient.
Sadly, racist smack talk is commonplace in professional sports, but leagues are (hopefully) coming down harder on this sort of negative rhetoric. Colleges began to suspend athletes for such comments over text or other media, but suspension is temporary and many feel that the consequences should be more permanent.
Puig sticks out his tongue and everybody in baseball gets pissed. Yuli Gurriel makes possibly a racial gesture and nobody says anything. Pretty pathetic
— Anthony Gonzalez (@DatDudeGonz) October 28, 2017
As a die-hard astros fan, in no way can I, or anyone, defend yuli gurriel’s gestures. You just can’t do stuff like that. Ever.
— Prayaag Oruganti (@PrayaagOruganti) October 28, 2017