Sports

Idiot of the Year #5: Justin Turner, compulsive exacerbator

Illustration: Getty Images

Welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE YEAR Top 10! Our expert team has worked tirelessly to bring you this annual list of the sports and sports-adjacent figures who most intensely made us wish we had been shaken as infants. Here are our first 40 picks:


One of the most frustrating things about 2020 is the amount of power wielded by idiots to make life worse for everyone else. Obviously, that’s been the case for a long time, and particularly through the last four years of having one of the biggest idiots in the world as President of the United States.

Never before, though, have so many idiots been so proud of their idiocy and how idiotic they’re making life for the people around them.

There’s the idiot who refused to wear a mask at a New York bagel store and purposely coughed on another customer. There’s the idiot who threw the contents of her shopping cart all over a Dallas supermarket after being asked to wear the mask that she was holding in her hand. And then there’s the idiot third baseman from Los Angeles and his maskless escapades at the World Series.

Justin Turner was allowed to start Game 6 of the World Series for the Dodgers even though his COVID-19 test results hadn’t come back yet. Not his fault.

Turner’s results from Monday (the day before Game 6) came back inconclusive in the second inning, and he was allowed to stay in the game. Still not his fault.

A same-day test then came back positive, and Turner finally was pulled from the game, with the Dodgers just a couple of innings from clinching. Turner still hasn’t done anything wrong yet. It sucks for him, but none of this is his fault.

All of the idiocy of Turner’s story, to this point, can be laid at the feet of Rob Manfred, the No. 8 Idiot of 2020 on our list. But then the Dodgers won the World Series, and Turner was not going to be denied the chance to celebrate on the field with his teammates, even though he knew the reason he had to come out of the game was that he had coronavirus.

Not only that, but once he was on the field, Turner — coronavirus-positive and aware of it — took off his mask to be part of the team picture and other festivities. Ah, but they were in a bubble for the MLB playoffs, right? Well, not so good of a bubble if one of the players managed to get coronavirus. And also, just generally, when you have a highly infectious disease that’s killed thousands of people and is the entire reason you’ve gone through all these months of protocols… get the fuck out of the building and into isolation, you idiot.

And, lo and behold, days after the World Series, there were a bunch of positive coronavirus tests in the Dodgers organization. Turner wasn’t officially connected to those cases, but also everyone at every level in baseball was actively involved in trying to make the world forget about Turner’s idiocy.

While you had Thanksgiving and Christmas at home, Turner is every jerk from high school that you saw on Facebook having what looked like perfectly normal holidays. And even getting COVID-19 wasn’t enough to make him take it seriously.

Within just hours of finding out he tested positive, this asshole was on the field, pulling his mask down, partying it up with his colleagues, their families, and everyone else who had to work to make the World Series an event that happened, like the camera operators and technicians who might not even have known what close proximity they were in to someone carrying the virus.

What an idiot.

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