The gesture exploded on social media as the game went on, and Gurriel apologized after the Astros' victory.
"I want to apologize to [Yu Darvish]", Gurriel said, "and tell him I did not mean to offend him". "Secondly, I felt it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on the Astros' roster. I was commenting to my [teammates] that I hadn't had any good luck against Japanese pitchers here in the U.S".
Darvish termed Gurriel's ugly gesture "disrespectful" but was mostly in a forgiving mood, suggesting it be a learning experience.
Darvish was born in Japan, to an Iranian father and a Japanese mother. Matt Joyce of the Oakland Athletics and Kevin Pillar of the Toronto Blue Jays each were suspended two games this season for using anti-gay slurs.More news: Fox Renewed O'Reilly Contract Despite $32 Million Harassment Settlement
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"I feel like, of course, Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans, and Asian fans live all over the place", Darvish said.
During the regular season, a player can delay any suspension for weeks by filing an appeal. "I know it's offensive to them and they don't like that, but they didn't mean to do it". I sincerely apologize to everyone that I offended with my actions. Now, MLB, which will meet with Gurriel before Game 4 on Saturday, could come to him and the Astros and advise that taking a suspension without a fight is what's best for the league, given the racially-charged climate in the sports world right now.
Yu Darvish says he isn't angry toward Yuli Gurriel, calling it a learning experience for Gurriel and adding that no one is ideal.
"Including him and I, nobody's flawless". "And then he made a mistake and then we're just going to learn from it". It's unclear at this time whether Gurriel will be disciplined for his actions.
"Acting like that, you just disrespect all the people around the world", he said in Japanese through a translator. If we can take something from this, this is a giant step for mankind.
Darvish later tweeted "let's stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger". "I'm counting on everyone's big love".