The cameras were on Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel in Game 3 when he made what appeared to be a racially insensitive gesture after hitting a home run off of Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish.
Gurriel pulled at the corners of his eyes, which some interpreted as a slap at Darvish, who is of Japanese ancestry.
Yuli Gurriel under fire after gesture made in dugout after homering off Yu Darvish: https://t.co/CoY4gEYRDG pic.twitter.com/TmF1HJNUTo
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 28, 2017
After the game, Gurriel appologized and seemed surprised at the attention he was receiving over the incident.
“I did not mean it to be offensive at any point,” Gurriel told reporters . “Quite the opposite. I have always had a lot of respect [for Japanese people]. … I’ve never had anything against Darvish. For me, he’s always been one of the best pitchers. I never had any luck against him. If I offended him, I apologize. It was not my intention.”
Gurriel could face discipline for the gesture. An MLB spokesperson said in a statement, “We are aware of the situation and the Commissioner intends to speak with the player tomorrow.”
Darvish initially said he was angry when he found out what Gurriel had done, but later issued a statement on Twitter asking people to forgive Gurriel.
“No one is perfect. That includes both you and I,” Darvish said. “What he had done today isn’t right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him. If we can take something from this, that is a giant step for mankind. Since we are living in such a wonderful world, let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I’m counting on everyone’s big love.”.