Today, the investigation involving MLB, the Dodgers, and Justin Turner’s on-field appearance following a positive COVID-19 test came to a close as commissioner Rob Manfred chose not to punish the free agent third baseman. Both Manfred and Turner released statements on the events surrounding World Series game 6 on Friday, 10 days after the incident.
Additionally, Dodgers team president Stan Kasten defended Turner in a separate statement.
The events involving Justin Turner during the World Series celebration unfolded rapidly and chaotically, and were ultimately regrettable. The Dodger organization takes the health and safety of everyone associated with staging a baseball game extraordinarily seriously, and are committed to putting in place better processes for future events.
Through much hard work and sacrifice, the Dodgers were successful at preventing COVID-19 infections throughout a very difficult 2020 season. No player was more instrumental in allowing the Dodgers to overcome the adversity created by the pandemic than Justin Turner, as he set an example for his teammates and advocated for enhanced safety measures that went above and beyond league requirements. Justin’s leadership played a large part in helping the Dodgers safely complete the entire season, which culminated in a World Championship.
While the events following the conclusion of the World Series were unfortunate, there is no question about who Justin Turner is, and what he means to his teammates, the Dodger organization and the City of Los Angeles. A three-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award as Baseball’s top humanitarian, Justin and his wife Kourtney represent the best of the Dodger organization through the positive impact of the Justin Turner Foundation and their continued commitment to making Los Angeles a better place.
Turner expressed remorse for his actions but explained the circumstances that got him there. It turns out that he did not villainously storm the field, ignoring MLB security as the league proposed in its initial statement when launching an investigation into the events. In fact, Turner was asked not only by his teammates to return — who already would have been exposed to him over the hours and days leading up to the positive test — but also was given inaccurate information on the situation that ultimately lead to his decision to come out for the celebration.
Justin Turner’s goal is to always be a great role model for the game and he once again proved that he is as real as it comes with his heartfelt statement.