MARTIN: Why Dodgers’ Turner was not completely wrong

The MLB’s World Series concluded Tuesday with the Los Angeles Dodgers defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to claim the championship. 

For the Dodgers, it was their first championship since 1988. For the city of Los Angeles, it is their second championship this month as the Lakers won the NBA championship earlier this month. This championship was different, especially with some of the controversial events that took place during and after the game. The in-game controversy included the Rays’ manager pulling Blake Snell after only allowing one earned run. The after-game controversy included Dodgers’ Justin Turner violating coronavirus protocols when he celebrated on the field with his teammates. Many people were wrong that he went and celebrated. I am one who believes he was not completely wrong, and that context has to be given to understand his actions.

Justin Turner is a real baseball gamer. He has played this game for most of his life as he is 35 years of age. He has played many positions including shortstop, second baseman, and third baseman. He has been an All-American with honors from Baseball America in 2003. He was selected in two different baseball drafts and went from Double-A to Triple-A as he has played for four teams including, the Reds, Orioles, Mets, and Dodgers. He is the definition of a late bloomer and he has worked really hard to get to where he is and become the player is today. 

I stated much of his background to give an understanding to why he broke the MLB’s coronavirus protocols. He broke the protocol to celebrate with his teammates because that is what he has been working for his entire life, to be successful at his craft. I guarantee in Turner’s head he was thinking, “this is not right, they can not deny me my right that I have”. 

For many, they will be like, “rules are rules”, but in my perspective I can symptomize with the athlete. As a former athlete in high school that lost in the championship game before, I always knew the celebration of winning it would be special. Turner knew he did not want to miss out on the once in a lifetime experience. Turner and the Dodgers also lost in both the 2017 and 2018 World Series and that may have factored into his thoughts. 

The main reason he was not allowed back onto the field by rule is because they do not want his teammates at risk. When you actually pay attention to the video when he was out there on the field, how much was his teammates actually at. He went on the field with a protective surgical mask and mostly stayed far away from most of his teammates. Yes, he broke the main rules but what he did on the field was not downright awful. For the most part he stayed safe while breaking the rules. 

That is why in my opinion, while he broke the MLB’s protocol, he was not entirely in the wrong.

– De’Vante Martin is a sophomore mass communication major from St. Joseph, La.