Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar is in a vat of hot water today as Major League Baseball is scrambling to try and figure out what to do over Escobar wearing a gay slur on his face in Spanish during the Blue Jays game against the Red Sox Saturday night.
Escobar wrote the words “Tu ere maricon” under his eyes, and what that loosely translates to is a homophobic slur. There really is no good reason for Escobar to write this under his eyes, and if it was an intimidation thing, like he’ll likely say it was when he holds a press conference at 3:30ET Tuesday, that’s no excuse.
Middle school kids aren’t that stupid.
A Blue Jays fan posted the picture to the left, and needless to say it’s spread a global wildfire. It took Americans a while to figure this out (apparently our Spanish to English translating skills takes three days), but Major League Baseball is now neck deep in possible PR problems with not only their American fans, but their Latin American connections.
Escobar is set to apologize, and better yet explain his massive mistake in a press conference today, but that might not save him from punishment from baseball. Bud Selig suspended Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen for saying kind words of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at the beginning of the season.
Guillen was just being an idiot in an interview, it’s not like he came to Marlins Park draped in the Cuban flag, smelling of Castro’s cologne. Escobar literally wore this one his face and the fact that he did that is still incredibly difficult to fathom.
I have no problem with people freely expressing how they feel, I walk past a man daily who stands on a literal soapbox and shouts to the fine people of Chicago that we’re all going to Hell because we’re venomous animals who adore sex and reject God. That man has every right to do that, I don’t own the streets of Chicago.
What I do take issue with is when people begin stoke hateful fires. The crusades are old news, no one is going to pillage because the man on the soapbox says I like women. Hate crimes against gays is a modern issue and when people on platforms much higher than a soapbox on the side of a littered street begin to endorse that message, the cute free speech thing stops and the issue becomes serious.
How funny would Escobar think it was if a white or black baseball player wrote a vicious anti-Latino slur under his eyes. You wouldn’t right the N-word under your eyes, would you? What made Escobar think this was harmless?
I want to give Escobar the benefit of the doubt and say he was trying to be “cool” and not only attempt to psyche out the opponents but be able to say he did something so incredibly stupid and got away with it. I’d like to believe Yunel Escobar isn’t a homophobic idiot, exploiting his position in the public eye to vomit hate over paying customers of Major League Baseball, but truth be told, he wouldn’t be the first to do it or feel that way in the world we live in.
Well if the previous is true of Escobar, he’s not getting away with it and if he wore the gay slur to send a message on his stance, then Major League Baseball is going to be thrust into a political machine that will end up horribly for the sport and it’s public image. If Escobar has fired the first shots in a Pro vs. Anti-homosexual war in baseball, it’s not going to be pretty.