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Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas. (Photo Courtesy of Pixabay)

Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas. (Photo Courtesy of Pixabay)

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Depending on whether you are from Los Angeles or Houston, November 1st was either the best or most disappointing night of your life. For those in the city of Houston, especially after the cumbersome devastation of Hurricane Harvey, a World Series championship title was a much needed rejuvenating and joyful affair. In contrast, the City of Los Angeles stood quiet after potentially breaking a 29-year championship drought, with what many call a pitiful performance in the first two innings. The renowned starting pitcher for the Dodgers, Yu Darvish, allowed five runs in the game 7 finale of this series. Many Dodgers fans felt sympathy for Japanese-native Darvish who was not only brought down by his multiple lackluster performances in the World Series, but also because of a racist gesture directed towards him by the Astros’ first baseman, Yuli Gurriel. In game 3 of the World Series, Gurriel hit a homerun off of Darvish. Gurriel was then seen by the camera, in the dugout, pulling the side of his face back, slanting his eyes, and mouthing “chinito”, which roughly translates to “Little Chinese Boy” in Spanish.

“I was surprised to see this gesture on live television during the biggest game of the year for this team. I hate to see this come from someone on a team that kids are supposed to look up to. It’s really disappointing,” says senior Kyle Joerger.

Gurriel’s gesture resonated throughout sports news outlets just hours after the Astros’ game 3 win. Fans on each side felt a mutual shock as a result of these actions, and many called for the immediate suspension of Gurriel. In the following days, it was announced that the Astros’ franchise did indeed place a five-game suspension on Gurriel, along with a small fine and a requirement to attend a diversity sensitivity class during the offseason. What caught many by surprise, however, was the fact this five-game suspension was not effective until the first games of the 2018 season, allowing Gurriel to finish out his World Series run. Extremely mixed opinions on this decision rattled the league as some agreed with this punishment, and others did not think it was enough.

“[His actions were] racist, but it’s something you can move past. I agree [Gurriel’s suspension] shouldn’t include the last few games of the series, because it probably wasn’t personal. You have two teams competing for a championship. It’s going to be heated, and people are going to make mistakes,” says senior Michael Simo.

This action of Gurriel’s has ruined the World Series for many, especially for those in Los Angeles. With the final game of the series favoring Los Angeles, Gurriel was immensely booed by Dodgers fans. The fierce tensions between two teams in a close series became personal, leading to backlash, even after the Astros’ overall win. Articles about the Astros’ World Series win in Los Angeles papers were extracted because of the public disapproval about franchise’s perceived lack of response to Gurriel’s gesture.

“I think the suspension is a little much, but recourse is definitely necessary,” says Brashier teacher Mr. Kabel

The Astros donated the money cut from Gurriel’s salary to a diversity charity in light of the racist gestures. While commendable, it does not excuse or dismiss the overlying shadows of racism riddled in sports. Stereotypes and insensitive actions burden the expectations of athletes, affecting the already highly pressured players in a negative manner. For sporting events watched by families, this insulting action is completely unacceptable and dampens the joys games are intended to bring to spectators. It is really a shame to see role model athletes act in a distasteful and immature fashion, especially in the most favorable seasonal sport event our nation is gifted with having: the World Series.

“Racism in sports is something really unfortunate. Sports are supposed to bring all people together, and this gesture is one of the many ways…events intended to be enjoyable [turn] divided,” says junior Paeden Dubiel.

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Unprofessional Professional Baseball