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Yunel Escobar suspended for three games

Sep 18, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

Yunel Escobar eye black

It was just announced that the Blue Jays have suspended Yunel Escobar for three games over his anti-gay eye black. Escobar will also participate in a sensitivity training program “in accordance with the Toronto Blue Jays and Major League Baseball.” The punishment was agreed upon between the Blue Jays, the union and Major League Baseball.

It’s worth noting that Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended for two weeks for making anti-gay remarks to a fan in San Francisco last year.

If there is no other discipline involved here, I’d have to say that Escobar is getting off pretty easily.

There will be a press conference shortly.

UPDATE:  The presser just went down.  Among the highlights:

Escobar made a statement at the outset: via a translator, which made it a little disjointed, here are the highlights of his statement:

“I’m sorry for the actions of the other day … it’s not something I intended to be offensive … it’s just something I put on the sticker on my face … it was nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular.  “I have friends who are gay,” I have nothing against homosexuals … I am sorry what will happen and it will never happen again in my career. It is a lesson I have learned … I didn’t mean for this to be misinterpreted by the gay community. I apologize.”

The first question of the conference was whether anyone in the Blue Jays clubhouse noticed the lettering on the eye black. The answer: nope. He writes things on his eye black a lot, and the lettering was small, so no one noticed it.

The second question: if Escobar didn’t mean for it to be offensive, what did he truly mean?  The answer was not the most satisfying thing ever:  he just didn’t mean it. “It’s a word that is said often among the Latino community,” he said. Which … sure.  But if “people in certain community X say that word often” was a defense, nothing would ever be considered offensive. People in the Klan could say that the N-word was, “well, something that is said often on our community.”

As for that “some of my friends are gay” comment, I must give props to a reporter who followed up and asked him who.  Escobar actually said “the person who decorates my house is gay … the person who does my hair is gay.”  I don’t know if he had any other cliches at the ready, but good for him for his apparently happy life living in a television sitcom.

Oh well. I don’t think three games are going to do anything to change Yunel Escobar as a person.  But that’s not the point. The point, one would hope, is that ballplayers would keep their prejudices to themselves rather than wear them out onto the diamond and in front of TV cameras.

127 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. randygnyc - Sep 18, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Wgward- now that would be a problem. Denying him a visa absent criminal conviction is a bridge to far considering all the illegal aliens allowed to live within our borders whose first actions in the US are in fact, criminal.

  2. mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    What I don’t understand is why people who use bigoted language are punished, but actual bigots are allowed to continue along their merry way. For example, why does Tony Dungy have a job on television, given that he is openly anti-gay? Not to say Escobar shouldn’t be punished–he should–but I don’t think saying/writing the word (Escobar) is nearly as bad as believing it (Dungy).

    • 1flyboy1 - Sep 18, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Good point and there actually has been a lot of movement in trying to get the word out about Tony Dungy. Problem is that he’s got the “religion” defense. And as long as religion is used as a free pass to be a bigot, then people like Tony Dungy will continue being praised.

    • largebill - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Dungy is not “anti-gay” as in being hateful towards them as people. I believe he is opposed to the life style decision they have made as he (correctly IMO) believes it to be a sin. Just as with other sins, hating the sin is not the same as hating the person. You can hate the act of stealing or of playing loud music without hating the thief or the goof playing loud music.

      • skeleteeth - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Being gay is not a choice no matter what your good book says.

      • TheWizard - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:35 PM

        It doesn’t fit the progressive agenda to demonize anybody who doesn’t agree with their perversion. Anybody who refuses to support special rights for homosexuals is therefore a “hater”.

        A common tactic also used in their class warfare agenda.

      • 1flyboy1 - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:30 PM

        And those special rights for gay people are the right to marry their partner and the right to adopt children, as well as the right for joint health coverage. I mean, so special, so exclusive, the gays just hate sharing and want everything to themselves!!!11!

      • mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        This is nonsensical verbal gymnastics, and you and all the other bigots like you know it. Maybe you could ask Matthew Shepard about how effectively people draw the distinction between the so-called “sin” and the so-called “sinner.” Oh wait, you can’t, because of how much some so-called Christians disliked his “sin.”

        Further, this whole business of using one’s own judgments as to what is and what is not a sin is awfully convenient. Failing to embrace Christ is a sin, so does that not make Jews and Muslims sinners? Do you dislike the lifestyle decisions that THEY have made? Do you love Jews, but simply hate their Jewishness?

        Finally, for you to compare being gay to playing loud music is just offensive.

      • xmatt0926x - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:24 PM

        Damn. sometimes I have to read it again to remind myself that there are still people who think this way. So largebill, you generally agree with people who feel gay people have made an immoral “choice” to live a homosexual life and therefore are sinning? So when John Doe was 10-13 years old and his hormones started racing, he saw Jessica Alba in a bikini and started drooling like most heterosexual boys would but then said to himself “nope, I think I’m going to be gay and be attracted to guys just for the shits and giggles of it”. After all, it’s a “choice”, right? Think about it largebill. Do you really feel it’s a “choice”?? Seriously? And if you at have at least the common sense of a rock and understand that you can’t make a “choice” of who you are sexually attracted to, do you then really think that Jesus Christ, who is the center of your religion, would really have hatred for a person who by no choice of his own was sexually attracted to the same sex?I’m not very religious myself. I just can’t believe there are still people out there who think being gay is a choice. It’s scary,actually.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        I think there does need to be a distinction of being “anti-gay” and “homophobic”. I think the former attitude is one of the person actively attempting to curtail or block basic human rights to that specific group of people. The latter I believe is an irrational fear of that specific group but otherwise doesn’t care about them one way or another as long as it doesn’t affect them.

        That said. I don’t believe Yunel is anti-guy. He might not even be homophobic. He’s a product of the Latin community that still tolerates this stuff (It was relatively more common in the US just a few years ago), he basically did something stupid and should really have known better. He’s know properly admonished and punished. But we should not hate or loathe him. If anything it’s an opportunity for this guy to become a better human being. Lord knows, we need every one we can get. The world is full of genuine grade A assholes.

    • purplereign52 - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      just because someone believes that gay marriage is wrong doesnt make them a bigot……..i i bet you think the muslim religion is a peaceful one too right? liberals are idiots….

      • The Common Man - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:49 PM

        I believe the vast majority of Muslims are very peaceful people who just want to go to work, come home, and play with their kids like I do. Just like I assume the majority of Christians aren’t hate-mongers like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Tony Robbins.

      • mrfloydpink - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM

        Wow. Do you realize how thoroughly you just outed yourself as a bigot? You are willing to lump all gay people, all muslims, and all liberals together and then express your disdain for them all.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      The dinglefarts who back their angst about the existence of homosexuality by waving their Bible are almost unanimously hypocrites. That’s unless they both follow ALL of their Bible’s rules, including never eating shellfish or pork, abstaining from all work on Sundays, etc; AND seek to have all gays executed as their precious Bible calls for (Leviticus). No? Then kindly STFU and accept that it’s the 21st century and we’re moving on with liberty and justice FOR ALL.

  3. raider2124 - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Enough of the pc bullshit. Where is the union backing? I can care less as do 90% of the population. it’s getting out of control. Selected groups have more rights then the average guy. If he beat his wife, smoked crack, spit on a republican or knocked up 50 women. That’s ok. But god fucking forbid use a gay slur, your suspended. If I were Escobar I wouldn’t have apologized and told the homes to kiss my ass.

    • The Common Man - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      I’m sure the union was there, helping to negotiate for a lower suspension than this idiot deserved. Nobody…again NOBODY…is cool with any of those behaviors you mentioned, and if you had ever read this blog, you’d know that it has been a vocal opponent of all of those things and argued for the punishment of players who beat their wives, use recreational drugs, drive drunk, or spit on anyone (actually, I think guys have been suspended for that last one; factcheck, anyone?) If he (and you) wouldn’t have apologized, you (and he) would have been facing an even longer suspension. Good luck telling that to your boss, should you ever decide to be as stupid as Escobar at work, as opposed to how stupid you are generally.

    • badintent - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:39 AM

      There is something DEAD wrong with a man jamming his penis into another man’s anus and then have the same man he just enter sucking the jam off said penis.
      Let’s all remember that in the early 90’s a openly Gay scientist that worked in the La Jolla, Ca. National Institute of Science published a paper in the Journal of Medicine stating that gay men are made by the DNA , not by life style choice.He was condemn by the gay community but I have to think he is right and much smarter than most people , straight or gay.
      I think this entire situation with Yunel is racist bigotry against Latins in general by whites.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    The person who used to decorate my house is gay but last time I checked I am unfortunately not living in any sitcom (what I wouldn’t give to live across the hall from Kramer).

  5. raider2124 - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Skeelth. It is a choice. You are a liberal apologist. Everything is a choice. Everything. How can you then say who you want to have sex with isn’t a choice. You can do it or don’t do it. Same fir someone straight. Your life will not end if you want to or don’t want to gave sex with the same sex. Prove to me that it isn’t a choice. You can’t. Sexual gratification is Not a necessity for life like water.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:39 PM

      When did you choose to be heterosexual. Tell me the date and how you weighed your options.

      • skeleteeth - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:02 PM

        By his own logic, I guess he tells himself that every morning…

      • largebill - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:34 PM

        That is a false comparison. The default settings don’t need to be chosen.

      • purplereign52 - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:48 PM

        romans 1 read it……

    • mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      Wow, that is convenient. Your sexuality happens to be the “default” setting. The normal one. The one that you don’t choose.

      Though maybe I’m assuming a lot. In my experience, some of the loudest anti-gay shouters ultimately turn out to be some of the gayest.

    • tryclyde - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      raider, that is one of the most ignorant comments I have ever seen. Please don’t reproduce and teach your warped point of view to any offspring.

    • daviddmsvcp - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      There is probably something related to evolution that favors heterosexual behavior. I mean, if your mommy and daddy were not sexually attracted to each other, you would not be here. And the fact that you are here means that you probably inherited your parent’s sexual preferences.

      I’m a big believer in things being inherited.

      But same sex attraction does seem to be a fact and it makes sense that it is inherited. It’s probably some sort of recessive trait that becomes dominant, for reasons that I suppose a biologist could explain.

      I’m just as certain that if same sex (aka homosexual) behavior is elevated to the level of “normalcy”, that some people who would not otherwise engage in homosexual behavior might decide to do so, if they see it as accepted as normal.

      There are few enough homosexuals. Estimates I’ve seen are between 3-10 percent of the population. For all the support I’ve seen on this board for homosexuals, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone say that they are gay. Kind of makes me wonder.

      I’m not gay!! :-)

      • Matt D. - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        Makes you wonder what, exactly? I’m gay. There, now you have one.

      • daviddmsvcp - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        Hey Matt, how do you think the Yankees will do this year?

  6. markadamsbrown - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Actually, Mr. Selig, intolerance does have a place, and a prominent one, in American society. It is known as freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. Being intolerant of degrading, disgusting, disease-ridden, deadly behavior is a virtue. (Sodomy, by spreading HIV, has killed more young Americans than died in combat in World War II.) Why don’t we suspend all baseball players who use the word “gay”, since that is extremely insensitive to persons whose first or last name is gay, in that it stigmatizes them by associating their good names with the disgusting and degrading behavior known as sodomy.

    So many sodomists, like Islamic fanatics, cannot tolerate hearing the sad truths about themselves and their ideologies.

    Mark Adams Brown
    San Angelo, Texas
    September 18, 2012

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      If you think MLB has no claim to suspend Ecobar because of the First Amendment, you don’t understand the First Amendment.

    • skeleteeth - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:56 PM

      Yeah, Carlos Delgado refusing to play Blue Jay games in Puerto Rico a few years back because of the role the US Navy plays in weapons testing on the island would be considered free speech protected under the first amendment of the Constitution. Calling the whole world a faggot on TV is not.

    • The Common Man - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Look, I won’t bother to pick apart your whole insane argument, you cherry-picking, batshit, disingenuous ruiner of other people’s happiness, but I will say that traditional penis-to-vagina sex is also very capable of spreading HIV, and that sodomy (defined as any penetrative sex act that does not involve a penis going in a vagina) is also really fun. You should try it, like the vast majority of right-thinking Americans, who are unrepentant sodomites. Maybe it’ll remove the stick from your ass, so to speak.

  7. seanb20124 - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I don’t care

  8. pogodog7 - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    I guess that is the end of the First Amendment.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      Dear pogo, the First Amendment prohibits the GOVERNMENT from curbing your freedom to say what you like, within reasonable limits (you can’t slander someone, or encourage rebellion or threaten the president, stuff like that), but MLB is not the government, it is a private employer with rules about behavior, just like a store or widget maker. Our First Amendment is therefore safe for another day!

      • clydeserra - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM


  9. Sal Esposito - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Just one more example that athletic talent does not mean the man has a brain. You are an entertainer my boy, if you alienate fans you hurt the ball club and that can’t be tolerated. No one really cares what you think, being good at baseball doesn’t make you a statesman or a spokesman it makes you rich and makes the team $$$, that’s it. So will all professional sports players please behave yourselves, just play nice, smile and thank God you don’t have a real job where you need to keep your mouth shut and go with the flow.

  10. raider2124 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    No one has offered me proof that it isn’t a choice. You call me biggit and homophobe. Who cares what you think. You are the minority. 38 states have voted down gay marriage. That is a fact. I van care less about religion unless you are a Muslim hating American. Bring if you can’t. This country doesn’t want it

    • The Common Man - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      I have a hard time understanding you, as you lack the sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary that is generally associated with the English language. That said, most polls show that a slight majority of Americans believe in marriage equality, and I’m sure if you could contain your brimming homophobia long enough to actually talk to a gay person, they would be happy to tell you their story about when they realized they were gay. If you don’t take their word for it, take the word of every single major medical organization in America. Unless they’re all in on it too, in which case, good luck not ever going to the doctor since they could inject you with gay stuff.

  11. 1historian - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Has anyone ever heard the increasingly quaint expression ‘Freedom of Speech’?

    Calcaterra and his ilk LOVE stories like this because they get a chance to show how pc they are.

    • The Common Man - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      Yes, do you know what it means? It means you are free to say what you want (generally), and the government can’t punish you for it. It says nothing about how your employer or the general public should react to what you say. They are equally free to condemn you for being an bigot and/or and idiot.

  12. raider2124 - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    You fucking liberals Stevens only ones who bring up the bible. Yet you support the savage Muslims who kill gays and sodomize them. Yet that’s fine because there Muslim. Only lefist shitbags bring up religion to try to further their leftist thought. Only scumbag losers abrove of deviant behavior. This has become a sad country that only people of morals can dig ourselve. Out

    • The Common Man - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      And there you go. Now you’ve confirmed that you’re a bigot in clear, unadulterated language (at least until your language deteriorates into unreadable seemingly random keystrokes interspersed with spittle). I don’t think anybody here who identifies as liberal or moderate, or any reasonable conservative supports anyone who would kill or assault gays. I think you’re allowing your rage about being unable to create a cogent and persuasive argument to lead to untargeted attacks against anyone who believes something different from what you, and an incredibly small (and shrinking) segment of America, believes. You lash out because you’re angry and unable to articulate yourself. You’d be pitiable, if you weren’t so determined to lash out against other races, religions, and sexual orientations, and had so little empathy for others. Instead of pity, I’ll just tell you to get lost, you horrible excuse for a man.

  13. wfon1 - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    I agree with raider. whats going on over there in the US? Getting so dam soft! Getting so gay over there! oops, i said gay, call the cops.

  14. raider2124 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    There you go common man. When you cannot win an argument inject hate when it’s not there. Do you realize that the gay marriage vote went to 38 states and every time it got voted down. So where and in what state is it approved by the voting public. It’s not, only when leftist judges say so. And by the way leftist judges are not the majority

    • The Common Man - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:03 AM

      Ha! Do you realize, after however many months that you’ve been commenting here with your disjointed, angry, mentally ill ramblings, that there is a “reply” button? Yes, I’m aware of the efforts in this country to deny basic rights and equal treatment to adult citizens. I’m ashamed of you and other Americans who vote to support these indecent ballot initiatives. But you’re probably not aware, given your level of general delusion, that national polls show the majority of Americans in favor of marriage equality. And your claim that I’m injecting hate is laughable, given that you’re ranting about “leftist shitbags,” “fucking Liberals,” “savage Muslims,” and “deviant behavior.” I may hate your willful ignorance, your beliefs, and the way you speak to people, but I don’t hate you (although I suspect we wouldn’t get along in the real world). I couldn’t care less about you, bigoted pissant.

  15. raider2124 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Hey floydpink. I can dislike anyone and anything. You dislike conservatives, does that make you a bigot. Why is it ghat only liberal scumbags are only allowed to have opinions and every other opinion besides the liberal is wrong. Do we not have freedom if speech and thought in this country. It won’t be for long with the wanna be dictator/Marxist has his way. Wake up

  16. raider2124 - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Pink. I will break it down. Muslims are a disgusting culture. They have killed innocent people throughout history. If you don’t believe what they believe, they wish and want you dead. If you support what they stand for move to the middle east. You Won’t last long, you will most likely be raped and beheaded. Move there and do us a favor. Gays have destroyed the family structure in this country and are part of the destruction of the family. You still haven’t proven that being has is not a voice.

    • cur68 - Sep 19, 2012 at 3:09 AM

      Sweet Jesus Montero. Do you ever stop, you jackass? Are you on glue? Why are ignorant fuckwits like you so inexhaustible? Its like you have an endless fund of drivel and stupidity to draw from. You know how I know there is no god? Because you are around. Any sane or even real deity would strike you dead form being such an affront to his/her image. Not only are your ravings pointless, but you can neither type nor use a modicum of decent grammar.

      As to your stupid “point”, if homosexuality is such an aberrant state involving a bizarre choice explain why so many animals engage in it? Horses, cattle, ducks, dolphins, apes, monkeys, on and on. Hell, even insects. Its a normal part of nature, like tallness, baldness, good teeth, and/or bad breath. If you don’t like the gays, FINE! I bet they don’t like you either. Why should they? They got class and you don’t. Just, for fuck sakes, have a shred of logic to your inane arguments. Make a faint gleam of sense. Jeez.

      • skids003 - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        There you go again, cur. SO as not to offend you, you people (meaning LIBERALS) resort to name calling when someone disagrees with your stance on a subject. You’re supposed to be tolerant of others, yet you never are. Bunch of hypocrits.

  17. fishmatt - Sep 19, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    For everybody saying “he has a first amendment right to say this” or “there goes the first amendment” have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the first amendment means. Yes, in fact he does have a right to say what he said, his speech is protected. That is why he is not being arrested for saying it. All of the Amendments protect people’s rights from GOVERNMENT interference. However, ones employer in this case both the Blue Jays and MLB do not have to let him say whatever he wants, because as an employee he represents them. For example, if a greeter at Wal-Mart greets customers with “F you, get out of my store” they will be fired. That is protected speech under the first amendment (he is not arrested for it) but it reflects poorly on his company and also drives customers away, hurting the company’s bottom line. So they have every right to fire him. The First amendment does not give people the right to say whatever they want without any consequences at all. It only gives them the right to say what they want without government standing in their way i.e. being arrested for it. Sorry for being so long winded.

  18. Amadeus - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Good to know the thought and word police are out in force as usual.. Freedom of speech just struck out in America once again.

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