Major League Baseball suspended Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young seven days without pay for his arrest on a hate crime charge last week in New York City.
The suspension, which is retroactive to Friday, stems from an incident outside the Tigers’ team hotel in which Young is accused of yelling anti-Semitic epithets and fighting with a tourist from Chicago. Police say Young was believed to be intoxicated when he was arrested following the incident, around which occurred around 2:30 a.m. He was charged with an “aggravated harassment hate crime” misdemeanor.
“Those associated with our game should meet the responsibilities and standards that stem from our game’s stature as a social institution,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “An incident like this cannot and will not be tolerated. I understand that Mr. Young is regretful, and it is my expectation that he will learn from this unfortunate episode.”
But while Selig was quick to chastise Young, Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was quick to come to Young’s defense.
“It’s a he said-she said thing, and I’m taking my teammate’s side on that,” Verlander told the Detroit Free Press before the suspension was announced. “That thing got blown way out of proportion. I don’t know the whole story, and I don’t really want to get into it, but it’s just blown out of proportion in my opinion. I don’t know what else went on, and I don’t think anybody really knows.”
The suspension will cost young approximately $257,240. He is eligible for reinstatement on May 4 and will be required to participate in a treatment program according to MLB’s statement.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday that Young will not appeal the ruling and will not face additional punishment from the team, per the collective bargaining agreement. Dombrowski was not aware of the type of treatment Young would undergo — sensitivity, alcohol, anger management or other. Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera took part in an alcohol treatment program last spring after a DUI arrest.
According to police reports, Young was standing outside the Hilton New York when a group of Chicago tourists were approached by a panhalnder wearing a yarmulke and a Star of David around his neck. When the tourists approached the hotel entrance, Young began yelling anti-Semitic epithets and then got into a tussle with a 32-year-old man in the group. The man sustained scratches on his elbows but refused medical treatment. Young was taken to a hospital because police believed him to be intoxicated. He was arraigned Friday and posted a $5,000 bond.
Dombrowski told the Associated Press Saturday that Young was “extremely remorseful, extremely apologetic” following the incident.