Wel Done – Yu Darvish
(Photo curtesy of Associated Press)
You may not recognize this face or his name. But read on. You have probably heard…most of us have…that in game 3 of the MLB World Series on Friday night there was an incident that garnered a lot of attention. But not on the field as one would expect. This abundance of attention was for an incident that occurred in the Astros dugout.
The Astros first baseman, Yuli Gurriel had just hit a home run off of a pitch thrown by Dodger pitcher, Yu Darvish. Darvish is Asian. Born to a Japanese mother and Iranian father and raised in Japan. Yuli Gurriel is Cuban. When Gurriel returned to the dugout after running the bases following his homer, he sat on the bench, looked toward the pitcher’s mound, and putting his fingers to the sides of his temple he stretched his eyes until they slanted, simulating the look of an Asian persons eyes. This was all caught on camera and has been widely reviewed both on television and all across social media. It was a childish and dumb thing to do by most anyone’s standards.
Gurriel’s racially offensive gesture sparked a lot of outrage. We live in a time when nearly everyone is on high alert regarding anything spoken, or any type of gesture that can be seen as offensive, or derogatory, or certainly racist. And people are very quick to call for condemnation of the offending person.
I must admit I had some strong feelings myself upon seeing Gurriel’s blatant, racially charged gesture. Especially after he had just triumphed over Yu Darvish by hitting a homerun! My first thought was “What a jerk! He should have to pay for that.” I thought this without ever considering how many times in my life I have no doubt been guilty of being insensitive at best, to someone else, and downright offensive at worst. Yet I was quick to judge someone else’s “crime”. I was. But Yu Darvish was another story.
I’m sure he must have felt at least a little sting from Gurriel’s actions, but if he did, he didn’t hang on to it. He took to social media himself and here is Darvish’s response to Gurriel’s gesture and all the outrage that followed it:
“No one is perfect. That includes both you and I. 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.”
Darvish could easily have spoken of Gurriel’s racist gesture as offensive and outrageous and no one would have blamed him since there was no mistaking what Gurriel had done…it was, after all, caught on camera. Darvish could have stoked the already hot fires of anger and racism that we hear about nearly everywhere we turn. He could have called for Gurriel’s suspension from the rest of the World Series. (Gurriel did receive a suspension, but not until the first 5 games of next season). Darvish could have taken to social media to make known how totally offended he was, to call Gurriel a racist and demand an apology from Gurriel and the Astros team. He didn’t. He looked at the bigger picture. He focused on what could be given instead of what could be demanded. He gave grace where he could have demanded justice.
He did something more too. He taught a very valuable lesson to those who have themselves been injured or offended by someone else’s careless words or deeds. He didn’t just speak of forgiveness he actually extended it and extended the reminder to us all to stay positive and focus on moving forward. He reminded those of us who have been quick to judge another, to do something else instead, something far more positive and constructive. He called for us all to remember our “big love” and exercise it. And for that I say, on behalf of myself and my dear chum, Jackie….
WELL DONE YU DARVISH…Well done!!!
P.S. Gurriel will again face Darvish in the final game of the World Series tonight. The World Series is tied at 3 games won for each team, Dodgers and Astros. What a match up this should be!