Yunel Escobar Suspended Three Games for Gay Slur
You certainly can’t blame Major League Baseball for not being swift. Within 24 hours of Yunel Escobar’s eyeblack message of “Tu Ere Maricon” (roughly translated as “You are a f****t”), the league handed out a three game suspension.
Escobar said at his press conference, through a translator, that he has nothing against homosexuals and that he understands the suspension. At the same time, Escobar used the “I have friends who are gay” argument and said, “It’s a word used often within teams. It’s a word without a meaning.”
While I’m fairly certain that Escobar wasn’t trying to be offensive, after all, even if that’s how he truly felt he wouldn’t be stupid enough to broadcast his feelings during a Major League Baseball game, it’s this kind of casual homophobia where the same term for a gay person is the same as one for a lesser man that needs to be stopped. Hopefully this very public step will not only educate Yunel Escobar but other players as well. Bud Selig, who I rarely agree with, summed up my own feelings in his statement:
“I consistently say that Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities and that I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game’s diverse fan base deserves. Mr. Escobar has admitted that his actions were a mistake and I am hopeful he can use this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to educate himself and others that intolerance has no place in our game or society.”
Escobar’s three days of missed pay will also be donated to You Can Play and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and Defamation. So at least some good came out of all of this.