MLB suspension sets bad precedent

on October 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

With the current landscape in the United States, there has been an anti-politically correct sentiment. Some of those in power believing that society has become too soft and too worried about how easy it is to hurt other people’s feelings. I am not here to debate such an emotional discussion, but I find what happened during the World Series this week to be such an example. Unfortunately, people still fail to understand that if something is an offence and requires punishment, there still should be a justifiable punishment. If there isn’t, then there is something else that is also wrong. Guess what MLB, it’s you that is wrong. Your idea of a suspension not only has no bite it implies it is ok to make racist remarks.

In case you haven’t heard as of yet, during game three of the Series, Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel hit a homerun off of LA Dodgers Yu Darvish. After trotting around the bases and making it back to the dugout, he proceeded to make a racist gesture aimed squarely at the Japanese pitcher.

On a side note, I can understand cheering for one of your own, but shame on you Houston fans. Giving the man a partial standing ovation during the very next game is a classless act and emphasizes that it is ok to disrespect someone’s ethnicity.

Racist or sexist gestures and words are not tolerated in today’s society and rightfully so. Whether he was joking around or didn’t mean it, doesn’t really matter. Whether Darvish was offended by it or not, also doesn’t matter. We have come to understand that these actions have a negative impact on a much larger scale and to curtail this behavior, it is punished.

This year alone for example, two players (one of them being Toronto Blue Jay’s outfielder Kevin Pillar) were suspended two games each for making homophobic slurs. I don’t know any of these people personally, but the best case scenario is that this was just a stupid mistake said in an emotional moment. You don’t judge a book by it’s cover and you don’t judge a person based on one solitary moment. Having said that though, it was still necessary to punish the action and hence the two game suspension. One would suspect that the punishment would be similar for Gurriel. It wasn’t.

MLB has suspended Gurriel for 5 games…. wait for it… but the suspension starts in 2018. This means that he is eligible to play in every single World Series game. Really? Believe it or not, there are actually some good reasons as to why delaying the suspension might be a good thing, but most of the reason provided to us by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred are not only idiotic, but shows MLB to have a complete lack of moral fortitude.

So basically the reason why the Astro isn’t suspended now, during the World Series, is because a) he is really, really sorry b) Darvish took the high road c) it would be unfair to his teammates (what the hell does that even mean) and d) well, he would have appealed anyway so why bother.

This is not a crisis of biblical proportions, but it is this kind of thinking that is making America soft. America isn’t soft because it is overly sensitive to what is said, America is soft because those that break the rules aren’t punished properly for it. The first two reasons that Manfred states are complete non-factors as I already mentioned above. The third is absolute utter nonsense. The fourth reason is correct in that any World Series suspension would have been appealed and a decision may have come after a decision was declared. You know what, that is perfectly fine and the right way to go. Let them appeal, let him still play while it is being adjudicated. At least this way, the MLB “appears” to be doing the right thing for the right reasons. In this case, they only thing they are showing is that racism is tolerated when the stakes are high.

Until you fully appreciate diversity MLB, you should be stripped of using the term “World” in your North American Championships.

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