Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Major League Baseball announced the completion of an investigation that launched in response to Justin Turner joining the Los Angeles Dodgers as they celebrated their World Series win on the field.
Turner had been in insolation after being removed in the eighth inning of Game 6 due to a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred put blame on Turner upon announcing the league was beginning an investigation.
Then with news of no disciplinary action begin taken, Manfred conceded the league could have been more proactive to prevent a misunderstanding that led to Turner and his wife Kourtney eventually taking the field.
Turner faced scrutiny over his decision, though received public support from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and teammates Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, Max Muncy, Corey Seager and Blake Treinen, among others.
“The support and love that I have received from every one of them has truly left its mark on Kourt and me, and I could not be more proud to be a part of this team,” Turner said in a statement.
He also shed insight into the whirlwind that ensued upon learning of the positive result. “As my teammates and I were on the verge of clinching the title, I was blindsided with the news that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Turner explained.
“I was promptly taken out of the game and my wife Kourtney was notified and immediately removed from the wives/family section at the stadium. We watched the final two innings of the game together in a doctor’s office in the back of the clubhouse.
“Watching the conclusion of the game we experienced every emotion you could imagine – we were thrilled for my teammates, the Dodgers organization and all of its fans, and the city of Los Angeles, but also sad and confused with so many questions about what we were just told. It was a surreal moment.
“We sat and watched the celebration, the trophy presentation, and Seags win the much-deserved MVP trophy on a TV in the doctor’s office. I tweeted to assure everyone I was okay and to tell my teammates how proud of them I was that night.
“I will not make excuses for my conduct, but I will describe my state of mind. 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. However, what was intended to be a photo capturing the two of us turned into several greetings and photos where I briefly and unwisely removed my mask.
“In hindsight, I should have waited until the field was clear of others to take that photo with my wife. 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 credited for strengthening protocols
While MLB and the Players Association agreed to a litany of detailed health and safety protocols in effort to play out a 2020 season — even if shortened — the Dodgers took matters a step further as clubs began to experience outbreaks, putting the year in jeopardy.
By all accounts Turner was at the forefront of the Dodgers taking such action.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!