Getting away with it for now

This week’s topic is a bit more serious in light of something that happened during Game 3 on Friday. Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel made a racist gesture at Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish (above) and was suspended for the first five games of next season but will continue to play in the World Series. He said he didn’t mean to be offensive, as if intent matters in these situations. According to The New York Times, Gurriel will have to go through sensitivity training, and he will lose $320,855 of the $12 million he is scheduled to earn next year.

The Times reports that this suspension is “the largest levied against a player for a public act of intolerance during a baseball game.” Before this, the largest was three games for a homophobic gesture in 2012. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, who delivered the suspension, said, “There is no excuse or explanation that makes that type of behavior acceptable.”

It’s good that Manfred took a stand and that Gurriel is facing consequences, but I think allowing Gurriel to finish the World Series before serving his suspension sends the message that his behavior isn’t completely unacceptable. Instead, it sends the message that combating racism is less important than a few baseball games, even if those are World Series games. Gurriel might not be getting away with the gesture, but he’s getting away with it for now, and that’s not right.

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