Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar wore a message in his eye black during a game Saturday. That wouldn’t be news except that the message, written in Spanish, contained a gay slur.
Yahoo’s Big League Stew reports the message “tu ere maricon” can be translated to “you are a f—-t,” a clearly offensive phrase in English or Spanish. The message was displayed in Escobar’s eye black, strips of sticker or black paint athletes wear under their eyes to reduce the glare of the sun.
But while there appears to be a good deal of explaining to be done by Escobar, he might not be entirely to blame.
Some are suggesting that it was a clubhouse prank wherein he asked a teammate to write the message, and the teammate made an offensive joke out of the situation. Eye black, however, comes in strips these days, like stickers. As such, one could easily write their own message before applying. Whether it was Escobar or a teammate, the same problem exists in that someone thought displaying a gay slur would be funny or otherwise appropriate.
The Associated Press reports that Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s office as well as the Blue Jays front office are looking into the incident.
“The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter,” the Blue Jays said in a statement. “The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game.”
Escobar will be available to the media Tuesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium along with members of Blue Jay management. No doubt he’ll have either an explanation or an apology, or hopefully both, as to why as an MLB player he chose to wear a gay slur in his eye black during a game.