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Major League Baseball Player Suspended Over Gay Slur

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Posted on Sep 18, 2012
AP/Kathy Willens

Toronto Blue Jays’ Yunel Escobar pauses during a news conference at Yankee Stadium in New York after his suspension.

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar has been suspended for three games after displaying a gay slur in Spanish on his eye black during a game Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. Escobar came out onto the field with “tu ere maricon” written on his eye black, which translates to “you are a faggot” in English.

Players are prohibited by the league from displaying any derogatory words or symbols on their uniforms, which would include their eye black.

Escobar, who will not be paid during the suspension, has apologized. “I’m sorry for the actions of the other day,” he said through a translator. “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.” He added that he would never do something like that again.

Considering Escobar makes about $5 million this season, he will lose over $92,000 during his suspension.

Escobar’s forfeited salary during his suspension will be directed by the Blue Jays to You Can Play, a Denver-based organization promoting peaceful and conflict-resolving lifestyles, and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the team announced.

Escobar also will participate in an outreach initiative to help educate society about insensitivity and tolerance to others.

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MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement: “I consistently say that baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities and that I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game’s diverse fan base deserves. Mr. Escobar has admitted that his actions were a mistake, and I am hopeful he can use this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to educate himself and others that intolerance has no place in our game or society.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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