Not surprisingly, the Toronto Blue Jays' Yunel Escobar is drawing interest from Major League Baseball for all the wrong reasons after he sported what is widely interpreted as a derogatory slur on his eye-black.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 3:31 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
Escobar has received a three-game suspension from the Blue Jays for the needless hate speak displayed under his eyes. ESPN's Dan Shumel passed along the news.
The Blue Jays are well out of the playoff race, so this suspension, which is less than two percent of the season, is only really going to hurt Escobar. Let's hope he got the message about his messages.
UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 17 at 9:31 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
The Blue Jays are well aware of the offensive eye-black message displayed by Escobar, and have issued a statement. Crasnick tweeted it along.
#Bluejays issue statement, say they "do notsupport discrimination of any kind'' nor condone message displayed by Escobar.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) September 18, 2012
They aren't going to leave this with a statement either. As Crasnick also reports, they are getting ready to address it.
GM Alex Anthopoulos, Escobar, manager John Farrell and Escobar will address the situation Tuesday in New York. #blueays— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) September 18, 2012
"Addressing it" can take many forms. Stay tuned to see which form the Blue Jays and MLB choose to evoke for this case.
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ESPN's Jerry Crasnick passed along the news of the investigation.
MLB spokesman Pat Courtney says baseball is looking into Yunel Escobar eye-black situation. Nothing more at this point. #bluejays— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) September 17, 2012
Blue Jays fan James G offers a clear look at Escobar's eye-black with this tweet.
The word "maricon" is slang, so any translations are going to be loosely assigned, but it is widely used in a derogatory fashion in the Spanish-speaking world. So it would loosely translate to "you are a [derogatory homophobic term]."
While Escobar could certainly argue that the term is not associated with such derogatory use where he comes from, it would be extremely naive to think that he did not know the negative connotations it carries.
The 29-year-old native of Cuba was courting controversy and punishment when he decided to sport this saying on his person.
It will be interesting to see how the league and commissioner handles this investigation, but in today's landscape of political correctness, it is hard to envision a scenario where Escobar does not receive some sort of punishment for this shocking lack of judgement.