Letters to the Editor: The Dodgers finally won, but readers are mostly booing Justin Turner

Paul Thornton
·3 min read
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 27: Justin Turner #10 and the Los Angeles Dodgers pose for a photo.
Justin Turner poses for a World Series team photo at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 27, shortly after learning he had tested positive for the coronavirus. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

Imagine what could have been: Third baseman Justin Turner is informed that he tested positive for the coronavirus and watches from isolation as his team celebrates. He issues a statement: "Of course I wish I could celebrate with the Dodgers right now, but I would never do anything to expose my teammates and their families to a virus that has killed almost 230,000 Americans." Los Angeles celebrates him forevermore as a civic hero.

That is, of course, far from what happened. We know now that Turner defied orders from Major League Baseball officials and indulged in the immediate gratification of an on-field World Series celebration, putting team members at risk of infection. His act arguably overshadowed an event that hadn't happened since the Reagan administration; in fact, most of the letters we received about the Dodgers' World Series victory focused on Turner's coronavirus misadventure.

Physician Daniel J. Stone likens Turner's act to a Trump rally:

Turner put his celebration of the Dodgers' triumph above the health and survival of others. Neither Turner nor his mostly 20-something teammates will likely pay the price for his lapse of judgment. It will likelier be the grandmother of a coach's nanny or a babysitter's diabetic father. We'll never know.

This carelessness reflects social values we see on the news every day. The president's largely unmasked rallies set a standard for neglecting one's own health while putting others at risk. Had the national bar been set higher, Turner would have realized that celebrating a championship could not excuse putting lives at risk.

This is a sad reflection of our national values.

Kathy Stecher of Upland reminds the Dodgers of what average people sacrificed:

Many people wanted to be a part of something during this pandemic. I wanted to be with my mother-in-law when she contracted COVID-19, stopped breathing, was resuscitated and was hospitalized. But no, we could not be with her.

I wanted to celebrate my sister's 60-year anniversary as a Roman Catholic nun. Of course, no such celebration took place.

How incredibly selfish the Dodgers are. Shame on them.

Magdalena Manchee of Santa Monica makes a similar point:

As a physician and mother of a 12-year-old struggling with distance learning, I found Turner's disregard for the safety of his teammates a disgrace. Professional athletes have to live up to certain standards.

The fact that he could completely disregard his diagnosis in order to "celebrate" while thousands of kids in Los Angeles have been unable to go to school for six months is enraging. How dare he?

I'd like to have him spend some time in an emergency room, in an intensive care unit or with the kids stuck at home.

Patricia Maurer of Glendale is one of a few readers to express support for Turner:

Turner is the heart and soul of the Dodgers. He is universally loved and respected and has been with his teammates almost every day since July.

He deserved be there. His team wanted him there. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts showed his support by sitting next to him for the team picture.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.