Los Angeles Dodgers star Justin Turner has been branded “beyond selfish” after he was removed from their World Series-winning game because he had tested positive for Covid-19 – then went back out to join celebrations.
Dodgers baseman Turner was pulled out of Game 6 in the World Series when officials were informed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the star out of the win that clinched a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Fans were astonished as the 35-year-old was seen back on the field surrounded by his teammates during ecstatic scenes in Arlington, where he hugged members of the squad, casually took his protective face mask off and kissed a woman as he basked in the glory of the Dodgers’ triumph.
“Thanks to everyone reaching out,” Turner told his following of almost 238,000 on Twitter, writing as a backlash spiraled against a decision that appeared to have directly contravened guidelines.
Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA#WorldSeriesChamps
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) October 28, 2020
Please stop exposing other people to a deadly virus! You may feel fine but they might not be so lucky.
— Debbie Harrison (@DebbieH4Joe) October 28, 2020
“I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine.”
He then mystified viewers who had seen him at the center of the ceremony on television by claiming: “Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys.
“So proud of this team and unbelievably happy for the city of LA.”
Um, you were out there with the team and families and even took your mask off. Please explain. I hope you and everyone you exposed are fine, but you may have just ruined this lifelong Dodger fan’s World Series fun. Seriously, please explain yourself.
— Mike Kelly (@MSidKelly) October 28, 2020
right it’s just the 3rd leading causing of death in 2020 with 250,000 dead so far and surge happening as we speak for no reason
— Devin (@devinkoneill) October 28, 2020
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that Turner had been taken out in the seventh inning and “immediately isolated to prevent the spread” of the coronavirus.
Almost nine million people in the US, where the virus has been named as the cause of more than 227,000 deaths.
“That guy is beyond selfish,” wrote a teacher, responding to a clip of Turner grinning as he tore off his mask and sat among the squad as they posed for photos. “Zero respect for him.”
Completely insane you’re not allowed to celebrate!!!!!! You’ve been such a big part of the team man, crushed for you to not be able to celebrate but happy for you to be a World Champ!
— J (@wileypepp) October 28, 2020
He has covid bro what do you not understand
— Jake #RipChadwickBoseman (@W0lfSzn0) October 28, 2020
So there’s a 99.997% chance she’ll get a moderate flu bug and be fine in a week lmao who cares
— Ryan (@SavnRyansPrvate) October 28, 2020
Another said: “Can’t wait for the rest of the Dodgers to test positive because of his selfishness.”
Turner was seen striding proudly around the turf with the trophy, causing one critic to call him a “f*cking lunatic”.
Others pointed to the high recovery rate for those who are infected by the virus and argued that Turner was entitled to join teammates who he had already been around in the days leading up to the game.
Covid is temporary, a World Series celebration is forever.
— Boise State St 1-0 (@LikeButta) October 28, 2020
Can’t wait for the rest of the Dodgers to test positive because of his selfishness.
— Greg Guzik (@gregguzik) October 28, 2020
That guy is beyond selfish. Zero respect for him.
— Martin Joyce (@martinsean) October 28, 2020
“Let the man have his moment with his girl,” wrote one, replying to a screenshot of the live coverage that showed Turner locking lips with a woman while a caption announced that he had the virus.
“He literally just accomplished his dream after being a cast-off.”
By mid-October, 91 out of 169,143 from 21 MLB teams had returned positive test results, with players making up almost two-thirds of the infected individuals. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report attributed the low figure to social distancing.