There was only one error in last night’s Cleveland-White Sox tilt. But it happened to be the defining play of the ball game. The final throw also inspired trolls on the internet to hurl racist slurs at Cleveland infielder Yu Chang.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Nick Williams hit a grounder toward first. Chang, who usually plays at third or short, was at first last night. Looking to turn two, Chang threw to second, but the ball hit Chicago’s Yasmani Grandal in the back, leading to a winning run for the White Sox. You can watch the series of events below.
An exciting finish? Definitely. A costly mistake by Chang? Sure. But, of course, that’s no excuse to hurl racial slurs at an athlete, or any human being for that matter.
Early this morning, the 25-year-old Taiwanese ballplayer took to Twitter to call out messages he received after the game.
“Exercise your freedom of speech in a right way,” he wrote. “I accept all comments, positive or negative but DEFINITELY NOT RACIST ONES. Thank you all and love you all. #StopAsianHate.”
For starters, the comments are gross. But they also follow a troubling trend of Asian athletes detailing experiences of anti-Asian sentiment inside and outside the lines of play. In February, Jeremy Lin shared his story of being called “coronavirus” in the G-League. Last month, a report suggested that Masahiro Tanaka left the Yankees, and the U.S., in part because of anti-Asian racism in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. And a few days ago, U.S. Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim told ESPN, “I don’t feel accepted here.”
I don’t know who still needs to hear this, but sports are just a game. And there’s no justification, ever, to belittle a person for their ethnicity. Do better, baseball fans.