The world was watching when Yuli Gurriel made a racially charged gesture during Friday’s World Series game.
It came after a moment of triumph: The Houston Astros first baseman had just hit a home run off of Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. He returned to the Astros’ dugout, where he put his fingers to the sides of his face and lifted the corners of his eyes — a “slanted eyes” gesture widely regarded as a racist mockery of Asians.
Gurriel also used the word “chinito,” or “Chinese boy,” in reference to Darvish, who is of Iranian and Japanese descent.
The episode, caught on video and repeated endlessly on television and social media, opened up a new heated conversation about race and identity in professional sports, which has already been grappling with NFL players taking knees during the national anthem.
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