InspirASIAN condemns Houston Astro’s player Yuli Gurriel for his racist mockery of LA Dodger’s pitcher Yu Darvish in Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 27. While we applaud the Major League Baseball (MLB) for taking action in suspending Gurriel for 5 games, we are dismayed with MLB’s decision to delay disciplinary action until the start of the new season in 2018.
Gurriel was caught on national TV making a mocking “slant eye” gesture in reference to Darvish and saying “chinito,” Spanish for “little Chinese boy.” Gurriel is a native of Cuba who had previously played for a Japanese team which opened doors for him to join the Astros. Darvish is a Japanese national of Iranian and Japanese heritage.
JACL National President Gary Mayeda compared MLB Commissioner Manfred’s punishment to a parent disciplining a child months after misbehavior. “Baseball is a test of skills, but more importantly, it is a test of character and respect,” Mayeda said. “Commissioner Manfred, you fell short of that test and should have suspended Yuli Gurriel immediately.”
Darvish’s response was gracious “Acting like that…is disrespectful to people around the world…We’ll learn from it and we have to go forward.” Indeed, this is a learning opportunity for all of us. Speaking out, generating awareness, and having dialogue brings unity and helps us move the needle from tolerance to understanding. How can we educate others? What can we learn from this incident? Please share your thoughts on my blog (requires AT&T VPN).
InspirASIAN’s call to action for the MLB is to make sensitivity training a requirement for all Major League ballplayers. InspirASIAN appreciates and stands with the many community organizations and baseballs fans who spoke out on the incident:
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA)
- Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
- OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
National InspirASIAN President