Houston Astros Player Under Fire for Racist Gesture

Arnold Nichols
October 29, 2017

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Saturday that he was suspending Gurriel without pay for five games at the start of next season, and said he chose to delay the suspension because he didn't think it would be fair to penalize Gurriel's teammates by suspending the first baseman - who is hitting.340 this postseason - from any World Series games.

Houston Astros' first baseman Yuli Gurriel has apologized for making a racist gesture in the dugout during Friday night's Game 3 of the World Series.

"I would particularly like to apologize to Yu Darvish, a pitcher that I admire and respect". As ESPN's Buster Olney has pointed out, even if Manfred had tried to suspend Gurriel during the World Series, the players' union appeal process would have delayed the suspension until next season anyway.

For his part, Darvish called the gesture "disrespectful" after the game, and pointed out that "Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans" too.

Darvish was born to a Japanese mother and an Iranian father.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said the team was "surprised and disappointed" by Gurriel's behavior and supported Manfred's decision. Gurriel may be punished, including a possible suspension during the World Series.


Darvish played professionally in Japan from 2005-11 before joining the Texas Rangers in 2012. The Astros and Major League Baseball pride ourselves on the diversity of our sport and in showing great respect to all cultures represented by our players, front office staff, fans and members of the media.

"First of all, I felt it was important that the suspension carried with it the penalty of lost salary", Manfred said. "And I used the best judgment as to where the appropriate disciplinary level fell".

"But I'm sure the Astros have Asian fans, and there are a lot of Asian people all over the world, and to those people, from a humanistic perspective and as a baseball organization, I thought the Astros' image might suffer as a result". He was sent to the Dodgers at this year's July 31 trade deadline. "I didn't try to offend anybody". Toronto's Kevin Pillar and Oakland's Matt Joyce were each banned for two games this season after making homophobic comments.

"Nobody's flawless and everybody is different and then. we just. have to learn from it", he said.

"Yes, of course. I want to talk to him because I have nothing against him", he said. "That's what I'm saying, so just learn from it and we've got to go forward, move forward".

Twitter erupted with backlash towards Gurriel after the incident.

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