Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel found himself under scrutiny after he was captured on video making a racist gesture directed at Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night.
Gurriel had just returned to the dugout in the second inning after hitting a home run off of Darvish.
When the camera cut to Gurriel, he could be seen mocking the Japanese pitcher with a gesture that sparked outrage.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 28, 2017
Gurriel also admitted to using the derogatory Spanish term for Asians, “Chinito.”
Since the incident, Gurriel has issued an apology.
“I didn’t want to offend him or nobody in Japan because I have a lot of respect, I played in Japan,” Gurriel said through an interpreter, via the Houston Chronicle. “Japan opened my doors to the game of baseball and I didn’t mean to offend them. I didn’t think anybody would think (bad) about what I meant with all those kinds of things like that. I offer my apologies to baseball and anyone offended.
“I didn’t try to offend nobody. I was commenting to my family that I hadn’t had any good luck against Japanese pitchers here in the United States. …. (And) In Cuba we call everyone who’s from Asia ‘chino.'”
Gurriel could face punishment from the MLB for the gesture.
“We are aware of the situation and the Commissioner intends to speak with the player tomorrow,” an MLB spokesperson said.
For Darvish’s part, he took to social media to deliver a classy statement, asking fans to forgive Gurriel.
“No one is perfect. That includes both you and I,” Darvish said on Twitter. “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 currently hold a 2-1 lead in the World Series and are set for Game 4 tonight.
The first pitch is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET on FOX.