Jays’ Escobar apologizes for gay slur

Escobar wrote the phrase “Tu ere maricón” on his eye black, which translates to “You are a faggot.”
TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

Roughly 10 minutes before taking the field against the Red Sox on Saturday, Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar applied his usual eye black with writing under his eyes. Three days later, he was forced to apologize for its content.

While no member of the Blue Jays noticed the anti-gay slur written in Spanish, photographs of it quickly surfaced online from fans and from Getty Images.

Escobar was summoned to the office of MLB?Commissioner Bud Selig’s and handed a three-game suspension by the Blue Jays.

“I’m sorry for the actions of the other day,” Escobar said through a translator during a 30-minute news conference at Yankee Stadium. “It was not something I intended to be offensive. It was something I just put on the sticker on my face as a joke. There was nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular.

“I don’t have anything against homosexuals. I have friends who are gay. In reality I’d like to ask for the apologies of all those who have been offended by this.”

Escobar’s actions will cost him roughly $92,500 in salary, which will be donated to the Toronto-based “You Can Play Organization” and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Asked to explain the meaning of the words, Escobar stated that it’s a phrase often uttered by Latin players.

“It’s not something that’s meant to be offensive,” Escobar said. “That’s a word without meaning.”

“This is not the first time I’ve written something underneath my eyes. It’s just a common joke. This was not directed at anyone in particular.”

Besides his interpreters, Escobar was flanked by manager John Farrell and general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Farrell said he thought nothing of Saturday because Escobar often has written messages in his eye black.

“If you look back, there’s been a number of occasions where Yunel has written a message on the eye black patch that he does wear and because it’s frequently done on his part, no one paid attention to it,” Farrell said. “The size of the lettering is so small that to view it you have to be right looking in his eyes and mostly the number of times he’s written something under his eyes, I didn’t pay attention to it.”

Escobar also said he agrees with the suspension and that he was embarrassed by the events.

“We’re not happy and Yunel is going to be now become an advocate and he’s going to work with those groups,” Anthopoulos said. “I think the biggest thing is having talked with the comissioner’s office, the players association and even those groups, the importance for them is so not much the fine, the penalty, the suspension, it was more the education because suspending someone doesn’t fix the problem.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New Apple devices include default kill switch

By Marina LopesWASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Apple Inc phones include a theft deterrent system that enables users to lock their devices and wipe them clean…

National

PHOTO: Photographer comes face-to-face with deadly crocodile

A deadly crocodile comes face-to-face with a courageous photographer, who manages to take a set of jaw-dropping pictures of the teeth-baring reptile.

Local

Brooklyn packed for annual West Indian Day Parade

Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway was packed Monday with an estimated one million people showing up on Labor Day to celebrate West Indian culture.

Local

James Michael Tyler on Gunther, Central Perk and…

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Arts

Rita Wilson joins the fall lineup at Cafe…

As a ticket-taker at the Universal Amphitheater in Orlando in the mid-'70s, actress, producer and singer Rita Wilson found musical inspiration in good supply, including…

Movies

Review: Kevin Smith's 'Tusk' is insane even for…

Kevin Smith returns to the horror genre, only with more jokes this time, with "Tusk," in which Michael Parks wants to turn Justin Long into a walrus.

Movies

Fall Arts Guide: NYC's repertory film scene boasts…

Among the best repertory film series in NYC this fall include old subway movies at BAM, Capra at Film Forum and actual celluloid at the IFC Center.

Music

Needtobreathe's revival: From broken up to resurrected

Needtobreathe talks about breaking up and reuniting while recording their latest album, "Rivers in the Wastelands."

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL

Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson,…

Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson, Donald Brown

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…

Career

Here's why the newly-crowned Miss America deleted her…

Miss America pageant winner Kira Kazantsev quietly deleted her LinkedIn profile this week after her work history came under attack by conservative critics. Many of the…

Career

Zosia Mamet explains why leaning in is not…

Zosia Mamet is living proof that even if you don't think you can get a job you're going for, you should still try. Along with…