Yunel Escobar’s gay slur on his eye-black has no place in baseball, or any other sport.
Escobar, the Toronto Blue Jays and the game of baseball should feel embarrassed. The result of the of the gay slur has been a three game suspension without pay for Escobar, handed out by the Toronto Blue Jays.
In a press conference Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, Escobar was translated saying, “I don’t have anything against homosexuals. I have friends who are gay. In reality I’d like to ask for the apologies of all those who have been offended by this.”
Escobar went on to apologize, and say that this will never happen again in his career.
An apology was certainly in order, but much more is needed. There is still no clarification to why Escobar did this.
The explanation Escobar gave at the press conference was nothing to make up for his actions. “It was not something I intended to be offensive. It was something I just put on the sticker on my face as a joke. There was nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular.”
So, you really thought putting a gay slur on your eye-black where it would be seen on national television would be no big deal just because it’s written in Spanish? I hope you are embarrassed Yunel Escobar.
In this day in age, one would think this wouldn’t be a problem. The language does not matter, especially in baseball where the Latin fan base continues to grow.
For the gay community, sports have always been a place where acceptance has been a struggle.
Sports has been a “manly” past-time full of jocks pretending to be something they’re not.
But really, is Escobar “manly” for putting down the gay community on his black-eye? No, he’s the last thing from it.
Writing messages on eye-black has mostly been a positive message. The messages have ranged from biblical verses made famous by Tim Tebow, to motivational messages to home town area codes.
This incident should not abolish these messages, but regulating the messages will definitely happen more. With the small font on the eye-black, the Blue Jays team management had no idea what was being written on it.
For the punishment, it does not measure with how big of a “mistake” Escobar made.
During his suspension, Escobar will lose a little more than $92,000 of the $5 million he will make this year. That looks like a big sum of money to the public, but it’s not enough.
Baseball is America’s past-time and with our country finally progressing more towards equality for all, this incident needs to be seen as a big deal by Major League Baseball. A firm punishment is needed to show the significance Escobar’s eye-black.
No matter if it was a joke or not, Escobar’s eye-black has no place in baseball, sports in general or our society.