Justin Turner’s decision to defy MLB COVID isolation understandable but irresponsible

Justin Turner Dodgers World Series
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) celebrates with the Commissioner's Trophy after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series in game six of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball couldn’t get entirely out of the woods scotch-free.

After nearly two months without a positive COVID-19 test, the Los Angeles Dodgers learned during their World Series-clinching Game 6 victory that veteran infielder Justin Turner had tested positive for the virus, forcing the team to immediately remove him from the game in the eighth inning.

This came after an initial test on Monday came back inconclusive.

Yet, after being yanked from the game and put into isolation, he came out to celebrate on the field with his teammates after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Tuesday night.

He had a mask on at times, full contact, all smiles.

In the grand scheme of things, Turner had been in close contact with his teammates for the previous few days without any restrictions when he was surely positive for the virus — unless it’s a false positive.

A few more moments wouldn’t have done much, but it is still an overwhelmingly irresponsible move to make with friends, family, and even children on the field to celebrate — not to mention fans in the stands with little social distancing.

Yes, that’s grounds to label it as a potential superspreader.

MLB officials ordered Turner to go back into isolation, but he refused, milking the moment that he had waited 12 MLB seasons for.

With that in mind, he received the backing from Dodgers president Andrew Friedman following the game.

“He wanted to come out and take a picture with the trophy,” Friedman said. “I can’t overstate what he’s meant to us. Him being a free agent, I don’t think anyone was going to stop him from going out. I think he was mindful of other people, especially other people he hadn’t been around.”

Again, understandable, but reprehensibly irresponsible if it does infect others or spread to those with existing preconditions.

“Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all,” Turner wrote from his Twitter account. “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.”

The Dodgers underwent COVID tests upon their return to the team hotel.

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