Asian-American groups outraged over delayed suspension of Astros' Yuli Gurriel

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 05:41PM
Gurriel was suspended for the first five games of next season.


LOS ANGELES - Leaders in the Asian-American community are outraged over Houston Astros player Yuli Gurriel's offensive gesture and derogatory comment aimed at Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish.

"Five days later, this anger has not abated. In fact, it has only grown," said Guy Aoki, Founding President of Media Action Network for Asian Americans.

A coalition of Asian-American organizations held a news conference at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, denouncing Gurriel's behavior during Game 3 of the World Series, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred's decision not to suspend him immediately.

Gurriel was suspended for the first five games of next season.

"It's like getting punished as a kid, but having your parents say, 'Well, we'll punish you next year,'" said Gary Mayeda, National President of the Japanese American Citizens League.

"The feeling of many in our community is that if a player had mocked or made a racial gesture aimed at an African American, he would likely have been suspended immediately, World Series or not," Aoki said.

Speakers said it could be a learning experience. They're inviting Gurriel and MLB officials to the museum to start a dialogue. Mayeda said this shouldn't happen again.

"We want the commissioner to be much more aware and sensitive over the issue, and we want to send a message to kids of all nations, whether they play little league, whether they play at the schoolhouse yard. We want them to know that these kinds of gestures are not OK," he said.

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