Los Angeles Dodgers player Justin Turner apologized after exposing his teammates to coronavirus following the team’s World Series victory.
Turner, 35, said in a statement on Friday, November 6, that he was “blindsided” to discover that he tested positive for COVID-19 during the final game of the championship on October 27. He and wife Kourtney Pogue were quarantined together “in a doctor’s office in the back of the clubhouse” as the game continued.
The third baseman then attempted to explain why he went out on the field to celebrate with his teammates.
“I will not make excuses for my conduct, but I will describe my state of mind,” he noted. “Winning the World Series was my lifelong dream and the culmination of everything I worked for in my career. After waiting in the isolation room while my teammates celebrated on the field, I asked whether I was permitted to return to the field with my wife in order to take a photograph. I assumed by that point that few people were left on the field. I was under the impression that team officials did not object to my returning to the field for a picture with my wife.”
Turner claimed that what he intended to be a quick photo op “turned into several greetings and photos where I briefly and unwisely removed my mask.”
The athlete has since offered personal apologies to his colleagues. “In hindsight, I should have waited until the field was clear of others to take that photo with my wife,” he continued. “I sincerely apologize to everyone on the field for failing to appreciate the risks of returning to the field. I have spoken with almost every teammate, coach, and staff member, and my intentions were never to make anyone uncomfortable or put anyone at further risk.”
Turner concluded that he and Pogue, 34, “hold ourselves to the absolute highest standards.”
The baseball player drew ire after he celebrated with his teammates while suffering from coronavirus following their World Series win. He tweeted at the time that he felt “great, no symptoms at all.”
The MLB spoke out against Turner’s decision one day later. “Following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others,” a spokesperson for the league said in a statement to Us. “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”
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