The Los Angles Dodgers have had a long history of Asian players on their team, and unfortunately an equally long list of racist incidents.
The first Japanese player to play in the All Star game and win Rookie of the Year was Dodger Hideo Nomo. Fellow Dodgers Chan Ho Park and Hong-Chih Kuo were the first Korean and Taiwanese players in Major League Baseball. Kim Ng is the first Asian American Vice President in the big leagues.
LAist reports there have been several incidents that rival Yuli Gurriel’s slant eye toward Yu Darvish, but all happened on a stage not called the World Series.
The late legendary Chicago Cub announcer Harry Caray once made a reference to slanty eyes when asked about Nomo. He never apologized, although his radio station WGN did.
Park once got into an on field skirmish with Anaheim Angel Tim Belcher. In post game remarks, Belcher made references to martial arts and said “maybe its a cultural thing, but if he can be taught the language, he can be taught the appropriate behavior.”
A NY Met scout who was hired as an expert on baseball in Asia was fired when he confronted Ng, the Dodger executive.
What are you doing here?…“Where are you from,” he asked in front of other executives to the Indiana-born Ng. Then in a faux Chinese accent he asked “What country in China?”
Meanwhile Rafu Shimpo reports several Japanese American organizations have joined the chorus of boos directed at Major League Baseball for delaying the suspension of Gurriel.
“By postponing the suspension until next year, MLB also makes it clear that the game of baseball, and the World Series itself, are more important than applying its disciplinary action immediately. This is a choice of priorities by MLB in delaying application of punishment,” said the Japanese American Citizens League.
The Japanese American National Museum agreed.
“We believe that allowing Gurriel to continue to play in the World Series, rather than making his suspension immediate, does not send a strong enough message about the unacceptable nature of his actions,” it said. “While this incident will serve as an opportunity to further important discussions about race and racism in our country, Gurriel’s actions must not be construed as anything other than reprehensible.”
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