It’s one of the world’s biggest stages, the World Series; now a Houston Astro who should be celebrating one of the biggest moments in his life is answering questions about a racist gesture he made mocking a Japanese ball player.
First basemen Yuli Gurriel had just hit a home run off Dodger Yu Darvish.
After exchanging congratulatory high fives from his teammates in his dugout, Gurriel put two fingers up at both corners of his eyes and, according to USA Today appeared to mutter the words “Chinito,” a Spanish word for “little Chinese guy.”
Gurriel who moved from Cuba to the United States just 1 1/2 years ago appeared surprised when reporters asked him about his actions.
He was described as struggling for words, but CBS Sports reports he ultimately gave a long explanation.
“I didn’t want to offend anybody. I don’t want to offend him or anybody in Japan. I have a lot respect. I played in Japan.”
In fact, Gurriel spent a year playing baseball in Japan in 2014 before defecting from Cuba.
“In Cuba, we call everybody who’s from Asia, ‘China.’ … I know it is offensive to them and they don’t like that, but I didn’t mean to do it.”
“I didn’t think anybody would think I mean to do all those kinds of things like that. Japan opened my doors to me in baseball and I did meant to offend them.”
You can watch the slant-eyed gesture in the video below.
For his part, Darvish who had one of the worst games of his life, appeared forgiving.
It was an incredible gesture on his part, given that Darvish had given up four runs in just 1 2/3 innings.
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) October 28, 2017
Darvish has been pitching in the major leagues since 2012 and is of both Japanese and Iranian descent. He played professional baseball in Japan for seven years and represented the country on its National team at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Clasic.
The Astros won last night’s game 5-3 and lead the Dodgers two games to one in the best of seven World Series.
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