HOUSTON – Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros was suspended for five games after he was seen making a racially insensitive gesture during Game 3 of the World Series Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The first baseman will not miss any series games as his unpaid suspension will start at the beginning of the 2018 season.
When Gurriel returned to the Astros dugout after he hit a home run off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Yu Darvish, he made a “slanted eyes” gesture, the Times reported. He also used the word “Chinito,” a Spanish slang word meaning Chinese boy.
Darvish was born and grew up in Japan, where he played before joining Major League Baseball in 2012, according to the Times.
In a statement released by the Astros, Gurriel said:
“I made an offensive gesture that was indefensible. I sincerely apologize to everyone that I offended with my actions. I deeply regret it. I would particularly like to apologize to Yu Darvish, a pitcher that I admire and respect. I would also like to apologize to the Dodgers organization, the Astros, Major League Baseball and to all fans across the game.”
On Twitter, Darvish posted a note that read:
“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 to accuse him. If we can take something from this, that is a giant step for mankind, Since we are living in such a wonderful world, let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I’m counting on everyone’s big love.”
The Astros and Dodgers will face each other Saturday night in Game 4 of the series on FOX 5.