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Los Angeles, CA - The Korean American Coalition of Los Angeles (KAC) and the Latino Coalition of Los Angeles (LCLA) find fault with Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision to delay the suspension of Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel. KAC and LCLA will stand together against racism in all its forms.
KAC Executive Director Joon Bang says, “We live in a country where we have the opportunity to celebrate our differences rather than discriminate and use our differences to mock or put each other down. Whether Asian, Latino, black, or white, we should all stand against racism towards our neighbors.”
LCLA Advisory Committee Member Joseph Chicas stressed, “Baseball is supposed to be America’s pastime, not a tool to divide our very own country. The Commissioner of MLB decided to protect business before its fans and our country, which is already in deep pain from divisiveness! This type of decision is as disappointing as the racist gesture that was made!”
During Game 3 of the World Series, Gurriel hit a homerun off of LA Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, then returned to the Astros dugout, used his fingers to slant his eyes, and mouthed “chinito,” a term that Gurriel recognized was offensive. On October 28, Manfred announced that Gurriel will undergo sensitivity training and an unpaid five-game suspension in 2018.
However, KAC and LCLA find that the delay of this suspension diminishes the seriousness of such a blatantly racist and offensive act in the World Series. Neither competition nor the graciousness with which Darvish responded to this racist gesture should have excused such disrespect, and an immediate suspension would have shown dedication to diversity and sportsmanship.