A Place for Citizenship in Major League Baseball

You would think by me writing a post involving major league baseball, that I keep up with the stats and the game. I don’t. 🙂 However, I was surprised to learn about a gesture that was made by one of the Astro players (Gurriel) after hitting a home run off of the Dodger pitcher (Darvish). The teacher nerd that I am thought more about the incident and how it would bring up a great learning opportunity and discussion with my students. Lately we have been discussing citizenship and ways to be a good citizen. I want my kids to know that EVERYONE needs to practice being a good citizen, even grown ups and baseball players.

Slides for an In-Class Discussion

I put together some slides with some video clips and details to piece together a story for the kids. Click on this link to see the slides and notes about how I will facilitate the discussion with my kids. Click on File, and select Make a Copy, if you want to edit anything on the slides for your own copy. I did my best to keep just the facts about what happened, and tried not to let comments of reporters get in the way. One of purposes of sharing this story with my students is the help them understand that being a leader and practicing good citizenship goes beyond school grounds and something they can take into the world. Below are some questions and ideas for discussion and reflection with students that can be found in the notes section in the slides.

  • Why was Gurriel’s action not okay?
  • Who was Gurriel making fun of? (Even though Gurriel did not make fun of Darvish TO HIS FACE, his behavior is still NOT OKAY.)
  • How do you the person he was making fun of (Darvish) felt?
  • We have students at our school who are Japanese. How do you think they feel about Gurriel’s action, even though the action was not done directly to them?
  • How would you feel if someone was making fun of your friend because he or she looked different?
  • Our actions can hurt and disappoint a lot of people.
  • What could Gurriel have done instead? What habits does he need to practice?
  • Rob Manfred is one of the “bosses” in major league baseball. He and the other bosses who are in charge do not like the way Gurriel behaved. Mr. Manfred came up with a consequence for Gurriel and he has to be respectful and listen to them without throwing a fit. Just like kiddos have to listen to grown ups who keep them safe at school (teachers, aides, proctors, and the principal).
  • Gurriel apologized for his mistake, instead of making an excuse or blaming someone else for his mistake, he recognized that what he did was hurtful and said sorry. He had to seek to understand how Darvish and others felt, so that he could make an apology.
  • How did Darvish respond to Gurriel’s gesture? (Did they get in a fight? Did he make fun of him back) What did he think?
  • We are responsible for our own digital footprints. What we put online does not go away. Other people might put stuff online about us and that adds to our digital footprint. What do you think this means for Gurriel’s digital footprint?
  • What can we learn from Gurriel?
  • What can we learn from Darvish?
  • What can you do when you see someone making fun of someone else?


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