Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel suspended for racist gesture

...but he won't have to sit out the World Series.

If you were watching the World Series on Friday night, yes, that was indeed Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros making a racist gesture in reference to an Asian pitcher. For those who didn't catch it, you already know exactly what gesture I'm talking about: the slant eye. And it got him a five-game suspension.

Yuli Gurriel suspended five games, in 2018, for actions in World Series Game 3

During the Game 3 broadcast, cameras caught the Astros first baseman pulling his eyes back and uttering "chinito" while sitting in the Houston dugout. He was clearly referring to Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, who is Japanese and Iranian. Gurriel hit a solo home run off Darvish to kick off a four-run rally in the second inning.

Perhaps that was Gurriel's way of celebrating -- the international symbol for "chink." Well, the cameras were watching, the image was zapped across national television, and the outcry was fairly immediate.

On Saturday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced that Gurriel has been a given a five-game suspension without pay that will begin at the start of the 2018 season. This apparently the largest suspension ever levied against a player for a public act of intolerance during a baseball game.

How much is a nationally televised racist gesture worth? Gurriel, who is scheduled to earn $12 million in 2018, will lose an estimated $320,855 because of the suspension. He will also have to undergo sensitivity training.

But he'll still be able to play the remaining games of the World Series. You've got to be kidding me.

Asked about it after Friday's game, Gurriel apologized through a translator, saying "I didn't want to offend anybody" and that he was "kind of shocked" when people told him he had offended others with his actions. And yet it seems he clearly knew that what he was doing was offensive.

"Chinito" basically means "little Chinese boy." I'm told that it's commonly and informally used as a blanket term for "Asian." Never mind that Darvish is Japanese -- you think Gurriel gave a shit? We can debate about Spanish, cultural nuances, and whether or not the use of this term is pejorative (for the record: it is), but I think it's safe to say that in this context, coupled with the gesture, it sure as hell wasn't said out of respect.

Ah, that gesture. Look, in way too many parts of the world, if you're Asian, you've been assaulted by this gesture at some point in your life. It's playground bullshit, and it's happened to me too many times to remember or count, from kids and adults alike. Yuli Gurriel is a 33-year-old grown ass man. He should know better.

The league seems to agree. The official reaction was relatively swift. But let me get this straight: Gurriel's actions were racist enough to warrant a suspension... but not racist enough to suspend him immediately? The guy still gets to play in the World Series, where he actually did the racist shit in question. What exactly would it take to suspend him, like, right now?

So. Major League Baseball's official position on the slant eye: it's bad, but not that bad. And you wonder, whether it's pro baseball players or kids in the school yard, why people still think it's okay to pull this shit.

More here: Astros' Yuli Gurriel Escapes World Series Ban, but Will Miss 5 Games in 2018

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