The Toronto Blue Jays have released a statement announcing an investigation into the "Tu ere maricon" eye black shortstop Yunel Escobar donned during a game against the Red Sox on Saturday. Details follow.
The modern eye black available to athletes allows them to write inspirational messages on the sticker-like strips before placing them on their cheeks. But the message Escobar apparently chose to put on display was anything but.
"James G.," who was able to get clear enough shots of Yunel to make out "maricon" from near the dugout, posted the pictures to Flickr, writing:
I have been conflicted about posting this picture since last night. I have a privileged seat near the Blue Jays dugout and allows me a close up of some pretty awesome moments. This one, however, is really disappointing. For those whose Spanish isn’t fluent, have never seen Scarface or fail at google, Yunel’s eyeblack “TU ERE MARICON” translates to “You’re a faggot.”
I started asking myself why I wouldn’t just post this image right away. It needs to be seen and it needs to be known that this is not okay. I was concerned that the players may be able to recognize that this was me who took this picture and would therefore rebuff the whistleblower but this is something Escobar wore on the field. He knew the possibility that a member of the Red Sox noticed it and commented on it, or even the umpiring crew. This is a bad word. It’s a homophobic slur. It may have made a closeted Blue Jay/Red Sox very upset inside. There are a million insults he could have used that would have been funny, this was not one of them.
I was also worried that some Blue Jays fans would accuse me of “rocking the boat” when I should have just ignored it, but that’s a problem with progress. When you hear or see something wrong, it’s up to everyone to let people know that that’s not right. “That’s gay”, “You’re gay”, “You’re a fag”, “You’re a faggot” are not acceptable insults in 2012. They are slurs and we need to get rid of them. When our sports heroes proliferate their usage, our progress takes a step back.
The Blue Jays have released a statement promising an investigation:
The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game. The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter.
Alex Anthopoulos, Sr. VP Baseball Operations and General Manager will be available to the media tomorrow afternoon at Yankee Stadium and we expect him to be joined by Yunel Escobar, Manager John Farrell and Coach Luis Rivera. Details and location for the media availability will be announced tomorrow.
The MLB has evolved leaps and bounds in regard to its LGBT support in recent years, so hopefully it won't take this issue lightly.