Yunel Escobar Suspended 3 Games for Wearing Eye Black with Gay Slur
Shortstop Yunel Escobar has been suspended for three games by the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Dan Shulman of ESPN.
Shulman tweeted on Tuesday:
Escobar wore eye black labeled with a message in Spanish largely interpreted as a gay slur on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, per CBS Sports' Matt Snyder.
As Toronto's starting shortstop, the 29-year-old from Cuba has hit .251 with nine home runs, 49 RBI and 55 runs and has added five stolen bases this season.
It's certainly an unfortunate incident for baseball. Professional sports leagues in general (including, most notably, the NBA) have been trying to curb the use of gay slurs. They continue to be used far too loosely throughout sports and society, and you have to wonder what Escobar was attempting to accomplish with his eye black on Saturday.
It's also poor publicity for the Blue Jays franchise, which has sunk after a strong start this season. The Blue Jays are currently 66-79, 16.5 games behind in the AL East and 16 games back for a Wild Card spot.
Escobar, who was with the Atlanta Braves before joining the Blue Jays midway through the 2010 season, hasn't had a history of such actions. In fact, he hasn't had any major clubhouse incidents, either. It's certainly odd that he would randomly do this.
Hopefully the suspension handed down by the Blue Jays will be enough to send Escobar and the rest of Major League Baseball a strong message: There is no room for discrimination.
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