Opinion: A bittersweet win for Houston Astros

Erik Uyemura

Staff Writer

 

The 2017 World Series ended with the Houston Astros claiming their first championship title, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers with a score of 5-1.
It was nice that they had won for the first time in the franchise’s history, but the victory was quite bittersweet following an incident involving Yuli Gurriel, the first baseman for the Astros, and Yu Darvish, the starting pitcher for the Dodgers.
In a broadcast video from the SB Nation website, Gurriel, who is Cuban, made a racist gesture towards Darvish, who is part Japanese, by stretching his eyes narrowly and calling the pitcher a “chinito,” or “little Chinese boy.”
Gurriel received criticism for his behavior from baseball fans, along with the Asian and Hispanic communities.
As someone who is part Japanese and Spanish, this incident was personally offensive and disappointing.
Gurriel is one of many representing the Hispanic community in an American sports league, bringing in diversity that is good to see. However, to see him mock someone for his ethnicity or race is disgraceful. He misrepresented the community and his team during this incident.
Darvish did not deserve to go through this unfortunate experience. It really does hurt to be mocked, stereotyped or judged by other people for being different. It is an experience that no one deserves to endure.
It is also intolerable to see anyone doing this type of behavior to others since they know it is wrong, but they do it anyway. There was no reason for this incident to have happened.
Darvish addressed the incident on Twitter in Oct. 28: “No one is perfect. That includes both you and I. What he had done today isn’t right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than accuse him. If we can take something from this, that is a giant step for mankind… Let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I’m counting on everyone’s big love.”
Major League Baseball took action by suspending Gurriel for the first five games in the 2018 season, rather than suspending him in the World Series.
This decision was unfair; he should have served his suspension immediately by missing at least one game or missing the rest of the finals.
That way, he would have realized the error of his ways and the MLB would have sent a message to its other players that the behavior was unacceptable, especially during important games.
Plus, other American sports leagues have suspended players during championship games and for the remainder of a season for various reasons.
The National Basketball Association suspended Draymond Green, the power forward for the Golden State Warriors, after a flagrant foul against Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James during Game 4 in the 2016 finals.
The National Hockey League suspended Aaron Rome, who played defense for the Vancouver Canucks, for the rest of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals after he hit and injured Nathan Horton, the right-wing for the Boston Bruins, in Game 3.
The National Football League suspended Brandon Browner, then-cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, for the rest of the 2013 season, along with the Super Bowl, after a failed drug test.
Gurriel at least apologized for his behavior.
However, he should have known better than to behave that way. He did not deserve to relish in the team’s greatest achievement and continue playing this season.

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