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Racist gesture forgotten in World Series mania

Houston+Astros%27+Yuli+Gurriel+tips+his+hat+as+he+gestures+to+Los+Angeles+Dodgers+starting+pitcher+Yu+Darvish+during+the+first+inning+of+Game+7+of+baseball%27s+World+Series+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+1%2C+2017%2C+in+Los+Angeles.+%28AP+Photo%2FDavid+J.+Phillip%29
Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel tips his hat as he gestures to Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish during the first inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel tips his hat as he gestures to Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish during the first inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AP

AP

Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel tips his hat as he gestures to Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish during the first inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Michael Fitzgerald, Editor in Chief

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On Nov. 2, the Houston Astros celebrated their first-ever World Series title.  Seemingly forgotten about during in their celebration, however, was a racist gesture made by first baseman Yulieski Gurriel in Game 3 of the World Series.  After hitting a home run off of Japanese-born Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, FOX’s cameras caught Gurriel pulling back the corners of his eyes in an attempt to make a “slant-eye” racist gesture towards Darvish.

As a professional athlete, it should be blatantly obviously that when on or off the field, cameras are watching.  In the MLB, there are easily seen cameras in every dugout, and players know that their actions are being recorded.  This type of behavior is always inexcusable, especially on a platform as large as the World Series, with millions of viewers watching every game.  After the game, Gurriel apologized publicly to Darvish, as well as tipped his cap to him prior to his at-bat in Game 7, but this cannot make up for his immature actions.

Gurriel was unsurprisingly showered with boos when in Los Angeles for Game 6, though his reception in Game 4 in Houston was every much as disturbing as his racist gesture.  While social media made all fans clearly aware of what had happened in the following game, they did not merely cheer him on as a member of their team.  Instead, they inexplicably awarded Gurriel with a standing ovation the next time he came up to bat.  This reception is equally perplexing as the gesture, as the fans of Houston were essentially stating that they condoned the racist actions of Gurriel.

Additionally, the MLB did not handle the situation properly, merely giving Gurriel a five-game suspension starting at the beginning of the 2018 season, but he was allowed to play in the World Series.  The MLB stated that it was important Gurriel’s suspension include loss of salary, which only applies to the regular season, as well as the fact that it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on Houston’s World Series roster for one player’s actions.  While the former statement is accurate, the second is incredibly misguided.  In every team sport, individuals are a representative of their team, as well as their teammates.  Gurriel should have understood that his actions have consequences, especially on the game’s biggest stage.  The MLB missed a large opportunity to curb racism, and make players aware of the fact that their actions have large consequences when on the field.

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Racist gesture forgotten in World Series mania