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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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The irresponsibility of Justin Turner

The irresponsibility of Justin Turner

Major League Baseball almost had an amazing feat… and it is gone. No one is talking about the Los Angeles Dodgers World Series win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The win for the Dodgers made it the first time since 1988 that both the Lakers (Los Angeles’ NBA team) and the Dodgers won championships in their respective sport. All everyone is talking about instead is Dodgers’ Justin Turner testing positive in the middle of the World Series game and then going back on the field to celebrate, mask-less.

So, for starters, Justin Turner was acting very irresponsibly. Turner not only kissed his wife during the celebration, but also sat next to his manager, Dave Roberts, a cancer survivor. It is  irresponsible for Turner to know his diagnosis and still act as if everything is fine — but it is also how Americans have acted in response to the virus. Selfish.

This is different from when Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was having workouts with complete disregard to the NFL guidelines. This is a COVID-19 positive player, who knows he is positive, with his teammates, ignoring the fact that he should be in isolation.

The country with the most coronavirus cases spent MONTHS debating the use of masks. There are viral videos of people berating grocery workers for trying to enforce the policy. The President himself made fun of his opponent, Joe Biden, for wearing a mask. Usually, arrogance in athletics is looked at in a popular way, but not in this case. Not when it is putting other people’s well-being at risk.

Now, Turner isn’t the only person at fault. MLB and the Dodgers deserve hefty blame for this as well. How was he allowed to play? How did the test not come back until the second inning? So. Many. Questions. It is also disappointing when you think about how far the league has come in the pandemic. MLB went through a covid breakout during the middle of the season with the Cardinals. Their outbreak even led their manager, Mike Shildt, to report that some of the players went to the emergency room. This is what Schmidt told KMOX/1120 AM:

“By and large, people are in a pretty good spot. There are people that have symptoms, and have had a few visits to the ER for some IVs and a little more clarity. Nobody has had to stay. But there are people dealing with — I mean, this is real. And people are experiencing a lot of the symptoms that we hear about, that are associated with this. A variety of them are experiencing multiple ones. Seems like they rotate with them. And again, nobody is in close to any critical shape, but people are having to deal with some things that aren’t comfortable at all. And hopefully we can get that behind them. They’re getting great care,” Shildt said.

This outbreak was back in August. It led to many reschedules and cancellations, but the season still went on. When the Miami Marlins went through their own outbreak, the season went on. There was going to be a finish to the season; there was way too much money on the line. Overall, MLB went through the season very well. The teams did a great job of minimizing the spread of the virus.

Prior to the Turner positive test, baseball had gone 58 days without a positive test. What’s damning about all of this is the reckless abandon that Turner exhibited. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported, “League officials, league security personnel and some Dodger officials spoke with Turner, asking him to remain in isolation, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Turner, however, was adamant about wanting to join the celebration, the source said, and he had the support of at least some club officials.”

I understand the emotional reaction from Turner. He had waited his entire career to celebrate the championship. However, there are a lot of people who have missed important events or milestones. High school seniors missed prom and graduation. Families couldn’t attend funerals or weddings because of the virus. So, I am not totally okay with using the ‘once in a lifetime’ excuse for Turner.

The image of Turner and Roberts smiling, maskless, on the field, is a perfect picture for 2020. Selfishness.

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