Bluejays Shortstop Yunel Escobar Writes Spanish Anti-Gay Slur On His Eye Black

The NFL might be embracing inclusion and equality, but at least on major-league baseball player is striking out: Toronto Bluejays shortstop Yunel Escobar took to the field on Saturday with “tu ere maricon” (“you are a faggot”) scrawled on the eye block under his eyes.

The message was first noticed by Flickr user James G, who took a photo of it from behind the Toronto dugout.

Eye black has long been used by players to help block out the sun’s glare, but it’s become popular with some players to scribble brief messages in the dark smudge, like Tim Tebow‘s “John 3:16.”

It’s been suggested that another player , asked by Escobar to write something,  sneaked the slur in. But as Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Kaduk explains, eye black comes in strips, enabling players to write on it themselves before applying.

Escobar, 30, was out with the “flu” on Sunday—it remains to be seen if he will make a statement about the insult, or if he will face any consequences from Bluejays management or MBL.though ESPN is reporting that the league is looking into the matter.

We could blather on about how disgusting this is, no matter who wrote it. But James, the Flickr user who posted the photo in the first place, wrote it best:

I have been conflicted about posting this picture since last night. I have a privileged seat near the Blue Jays dugout and allows me a close up of some pretty awesome moments. This one, however, is really disappointing. For those whose Spanish isn’t fluent, have never seen Scarface or fail at google, Yunel’s eyeblack “TU ERE MARICON” translates to “You’re a faggot.”

There are some small Spanish locales where it translates to “pussy” not “faggot” but that’s a very small possibility.

I started asking myself why I wouldn’t just post this image right away. It needs to be seen and it needs to be known that this is not okay. I was concerned that the players may be able to recognize that this was me who took this picture and would therefore rebuff the whistleblower but this is something Escobar wore on the field. He knew the possibility that a member of the Red Sox noticed it and commented on it, or even the umpiring crew. This is a bad word. It’s a homophobic slur. It may have made a closeted Blue Jay/Red Sox very upset inside. There are a million insults he could have used that would have been funny, this was not one of them.

I was also worried that some Blue Jays fans would accuse me of “rocking the boat” when I should have just ignored it, but that’s a problem with progress. When you hear or see something wrong, it’s up to everyone to let people know that that’s not right. “That’s gay”, “You’re gay”, “You’re a fag”, “You’re a faggot” are not acceptable insults in 2012. They are slurs and we need to get rid of them. When our sports heroes proliferate their usage, our progress takes a step back.

How did it happen? Did Yunel write it? Did someone else write it and Yunel put it on anyway because he found it funny? Would he have ever gotten away with it if it was in English? Was Yunel’s “flu” on Sunday the truth or disciplinarian action? There are Spanish speaking coaches who should have recognized and nixed this immediately as well.

I like Yunel a lot, he’s the one who pays me the most notice when I’m at the games. He points to his fans, tips his cap and recognizes the support he is given. This was a mistake I hope he learns and he will never make again.

UPDATE: Cyd Zeigler at OutSports clued us in that Blue Jays management issued a statement about the Escobar situation:

The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game. The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter.

Alex Anthopoulos, Sr. VP Baseball Operations and General Manager will be available to the media tomorrow afternoon at Yankee Stadium and we expect him to be joined by Yunel Escobar, Manager John Farrell and Coach Luis Rivera. Details and location for the media availability will be announced tomorrow.

We’ll report back after the press conference.

Photos: James G, Keith Allison

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  • dvlaries

    “I want attention, so I’m going to stir up some shit.”

  • Aidan8

    Y-U-N-E-L……. You-Undoubtedly-Need-Extended-Leave. Fire the asshole.

  • Ruhlmann

    @dvlaries: Pretty much, nice lips though.

  • Eric Auerbach

    Actually, it’s more like “You’se a fagot.”

  • petensfo

    Como se dice, douchebag, en espanol?

  • Atomicrob

    Eres un homófobo!

  • hephaestion

    Why is there no “s” in “eres”? He misspelled “eres.” didn’t he? Or is “ere” some new slang word I just haven’t heard before?

    Anyway, this homophobic scrawling is inexcusable. He needs to be punished by the Blue Jays. If a player had scrawled “You are a spic” under his eyes, you can bet he would have been thrown off the team by now.

  • Eric Auerbach

    @hephaestion: Many Cubans tend to omit the final “S” in words when speaking Spanish.

  • xomango

    Omitting the final “s” when speaking aside, dude should check his grammar before spewing the hate.

  • Gigi Gee

    “Someone wrote it on my face as a joke.” Ya. Right. About as believable as my 12 year-old protestation, “They’re not my cigarettes. I was holding them for a friend!” This man is a professional athlete, making $5 million a year to play baseball. He’s a role model to young children (I don’t get the whole “role model” thing but…) and this kind of attention is the last thing the Blue Jays needs. Their fans are loyal in spite of the fact that they suck (not in the good way either…) but they don’t take kindly to this kind of hatefulness.

  • Freddie27

    How dumb can you get?

  • Little-Kiwi

    uh oh. canada is blowing UP over this. this is not something you wanna do in canada, ESPECIALLY Toronto.

    this aint gonna end well for him.

  • Rob

    If he was a Gay Inc. tool like Dan Savage, nobody would’ve cared.

  • Aidan8

    @Rob: Huh?? In order for you to draw the type of parallel you’re attempting to draw, you need to make it a logical parallel: So, if Dan Savage wrote on his face “You’re a nigger” or “You’re a kyke” or some other such offensive thing, I think people would be pretty pissed off. And rightly so.

  • Rockery

    This is on the news, what a mess!

  • funboync

    silly people, unless he can write backwards while looking in a mirror, it is clear that his make up person wrote this and perhaps it was a person message to him.

  • TrekBear

    @petensfo: You could call him “puta, “culo,” y mas.

  • petensfo

    @TrekBear: thanks, doll… It was mostly ‘rhetorical’ I mostly speak, ‘Mexican’ ;) so, I’d probably go with pinche, chingaderra, cabron! lol

  • Aaron

    @funboync: You must have missed the part where it said they come on a strip and you can write on them yourself before applying.

Comments are closed.