Yunel Escobar Supsended for Homophobic Slur: Just Punishment?

It doesn’t really matter what the reason, excuse or explanation – Yunel Escobar is screwed. He’s having a bad year for a bad team with an up and coming prospect hot on his tail at shortstop.

Oh, yeah. And then there’s THIS.

There is no good way to spin the issue. It can’t have been lost in translation, because Cuban professors in Canada have told various media members that is a homophobic slur and very offensive in Escobar’s home country.

In other parts of Latin America, the word is used much more loosely and in a teasing manner, but Escobar isn’t from other parts of Latin America. He is from Cuba, where it means the same thing as the English translation for “You are a f—-t.”

Forget whether or not there is a large portion of the LGBT community who watches baseball. The point is that there is a very large LGBT community in this country, and they know how to use computers. That means most of that community has seen what Escobar’s eye black said last Saturday and can’t be very happy about it.

So how should Escobar be punished? There isn’t a ton of precedence for this, and it also goes way above and beyond just being about baseball. But the Toronto Blue Jays, as approved by the MLB and MLBPA decided to suspend Escobar three games starting tonight, without pay.

The $92,000+ Escobar will lose in salary over the three games will be donated to GLAAD and You Can Play, two very respected LGBT charity organizations. And Escobar will have to do sensitivity training and work with outreach programs.

Well, that’s a nice gesture. But three games? Really? Didn’t Cole Hamels get five for purposely beaning Bryce Harper? Didn’t Brett Lawrie get four for throwing his helmet down when arguing a call?

And is sensitivity training going to help the fact that he was so insensitive in the first place? Regardless of how much Escobar stresses that he was joking and it has “no meaning,” he is completely, utterly mistaken.

So what I’m seeing here, is that MLB believes a heated argument or an intimidating pitch are more punishable than literally offending an entire community and legion of fans and then giving half-assed excuses in front of that same audience.

Escobar, who doesn’t speak English, was talking to the media through a translator just now at Yankee Stadium and I caught a few snippets of what he said via social media.

“It was a bad joke.”

“I apologize.”

“It wasn’t meant to offend.”

“It’s a very common term in Latin America. It has no meaning.”

“I don’t hate gay people.”

Well, Yunel. It does have meaning. To millions of people across the globe. Next time, try something a little more intelligent when you want to write something on your face to get pumped for a game. 

It’s the humble opinion of this writer that Escobar should have been suspended the rest of the season. Send him home for the offseason. The Jays are out of the race and Escobar isn’t doing anything for them on the field anyway.

But the second he steps back on the field this Friday in a meaningless game, he’s going to hear it from the fans, whether home or away. Wouldn’t it be best to have a full off-season to let this blow over?

I think it’s fair to say that the three-game suspension is too short. I think it’s also fair to say that Escobar’s reputation is really shot to hell, if Twitter is any indication:

The biggest loser in this whole fiasco is Escobar himself. He just lost money, games and most devastating, respect of his peers and fans. It seems like Blue Jays fans can’t wait to see him shipped away. And if the poor play and stupid decisions continue, that might happen a lot sooner than we think.

Do you believe this was a just punishment for Escobar? VOTE below!

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– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

One comment

  1. Pingback: Grade That Trade! Marlins Light Up The Fire Sale Again Edition « Three Up, Three Down

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