MLB needs to root out racism

In the third game of World Series, Yulieski Gurriel hit a second inning home run off of Dodger’s starting pitcher Yu Darvish. It was not the home run that was the most talked about after the game, was what Gurriel did after he rounded the bases and returned to the dugout. Cameras caught Gurriel making a slanted-eye gesture while also saying the word “chinito.” Chinito is a Spanish slang word that can be translated into “little Asian guy.”

After the game, Gurriel’s actions received a lot of criticism. Many people, including fans and the media, were wondering what Gurriel’s punishment would be. It took Rob Manfred, who is the commissioner of Major League Baseball, 18 hours to hand down Gurriel’s punishment. Manfred suspended Gurriel five regular season games to start the 2018 season. This was an opportunity to handle the situation swiftly and decisively, but Manfred and MLB got it wrong.

Manfred outlined why he levied the suspension for next season, saying that he felt it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on the roster for Gurriel’s actions. Also, he felt it was important that the suspension also carries monetary loss and that could only happen in the regular season and not the World Series. Manfred also said the best way to move forward with this issue was to suspend him to start next season.

Gurriel’s suspension is only going to become a topic of conversation once the 2018 season starts. If Manfred would have suspended him for game four of the World Series, that would have ended the issue and made players think about their actions on the field. By Manfred not taking a stance on the biggest stage in baseball he put this racist act on the back burner and made it clear that the World Series is more important than racism.

Sitting for five meaningless games in April is not going to make Gurriel or any other offender think twice about what they are doing and saying. Also, losing money is not an issue when Gurriel is making over $9 million a year. The way to make a statement to not only Gurriel, but all of baseball was lost when Manfred decided to let him play in all the remaining World Series games.

Darvish was very gracious in the way he handled the whole situation, he said he would have liked to move forward and not vilify Gurriel. Darvish could have made this situation worse than it already was, but he took the high road. Just because he decided to not condemn Gurriel does not mean he should not have paid dearly for his actions. Manfred and MLB wasted an opportunity to make a statement to the entire league and the world that racism is not okay in the game of baseball.

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