Monday, September 17, 2012
Anti-Gay Slur Has Jays Escobar in Hot Water
The Toronto Blue Jays say they are investigating why shortstop Yunel Escobar played Saturday's game against Boston with a homophobic slur written in Spanish under his eyes.
It is too early to know both sides of the story and the truth may clear Escobar of any wrong doing but at first glance this is a very messy situation. It is never a good thing to use slurs of any kind but it is even worse and is more magnified when it is used by high profile athletes. In the heat of competition things are said and trash talking happens. It may not be good, it may not be tolerate or politically correct, but it happens. You can't defend it, but it is a convenient go to response for many people.
The comments are usually not meant literally but hold a lot of power and are offensive and insensitive. An athlete who uses these sayings do so at their own peril and if overheard usually come with a firestorm from both their league, the fans and the press. That is just from saying it, having it written on your body or on your uniform is just ridiculous. You either had no idea and one of your "friends" thought it would be funny or you are so oblivious that you thought that because it was in another language it would get past people.
If it is found that Escobar knowingly had "TU ERE MARICON" ("You are a fagot") written on his eye black shows that he is not only immature but not a very bright person. In an age where everyone has a cameras and you are used to being seen by thousands of people to not expect a huge backlash, investigation, and potential penalties is just really short sighted.
There were character questions when he was traded from Atlanta to Toronto and until now he seemed to be an upstanding teammate but now there are questions again. He was never number 1 on former manager Bobby Cox's list and that helped prompt his exit from the ATL and who knows this could be the tipping point that could get him moved again.
When you have a young up and comer looking to take your position like Escobar does being careless like this is a good way to becoming instant trade bait. If he is not smart he could be writing his own ticket right out of town. If the Jays are able to fill a hole in the roster maybe someone with a bad PR rep is easier to make expendable and also make the ball club seem to have high standards and a solid image.
It will be interesting to see how things shake down but there will surely be some repercussions. It is just a matter of how severe they are.