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Major League Baseball has suspended Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel for his racist gesture during Game 3 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The suspension will not take place during the World Series. Instead, Gurriel will be suspended five games in the 2018 season, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
“There is no place in our game for the behavior we witnessed last night,” commissioner Rob Manfred said on Saturday.
Manfred also said the suspension is taking place after the World Series because it is “unfair to punish” the other players on the Astros’ roster for Gurriel’s action. The five-game suspension will be without pay and the Astros’ first baseman will be required to attend sensitivity training, according to Mike Oz.
Gurriel homered in the second inning of the Astros’ 5-3 win on Friday night against Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, who is Japanese-Iranian. Then in the dugout after the home run, Gurriel stretched his eyes in a mocking manner and called Darvish a slur.
“In Cuba, we call everybody who is from Asia, ‘China,’” Gurriel told reporters after Game 3. “I know it’s offensive to them and they don’t like that, but they didn’t mean to do it.
“It caught me by surprise. I didn’t try to offend anybody.”
Darvish tweeted a response after the game, saying, “What he had done today isn’t right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him. If we can take something from this, that is a giant step for mankind.”
Gurriel will not appeal the suspension. The MLB Players Association issued a statement:
“After consultation with the Association, the Houston Astros and his individual representatives, Yuli Gurriel has decided that he will not appeal the discipline announced today by Major League Baseball. Mr. Gurriel and the Association will refrain from further comment at this time.”
The Astros also released a statement on Gurriel’s suspension:
“The Houston Astros were surprised and disappointed by the behavior displayed by Yuli Gurriel during last night’s game. 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.
“Yuli has always demonstrated respectful behavior and is extremely remorseful for his actions. Appropriately, Yuli has apologized for his gesture. He had no intention of offending anyone, but now recognizes the perceived offensiveness of his actions.
“We support Major League Baseball’s decision of a five-game suspension for the 2018 season. The Astros will donate Yuli’s salary for these five games in equal parts to the Astros foundation and to a charity directly supporting diversity efforts.”
Gurriel’s racist gesture toward Darvish has also brought up Cleveland’s offensive Chief Wahoo logo. Manfred says he will address that “in the off-season.”