Yunel Escobar suspended 3 games by Blue Jays for homophobic slur on eye-black
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Yunel Escobar was suspended for three games Tuesday by the Toronto Blue Jays for wearing eye-black displaying a homophobic slur written in Spanish during last Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox.
Pictures posted online showed the Blue Jays shortstop with the message written in his eye-black, a sticker players wear under their eyes to reduce glare from the sun. Translated to English, the message reads: "You are a (derogatory term for a homosexual man)."
The slur did not appear to be directed at any person in particular.
The Blue Jays are in New York to play the Yankees later Tuesday. The punishment was announced during a news conference at Yankee Stadium.Escobar, who is from Cuba, said the action was meant to be "a joke" and claimed he's done it before without it gaining notice. But he said he agreed with the suspension and apologized. "I'm sorry for what happened, won't do it again," he said Tuesday. The 29-year-old is hitting .251 with nine home runs and 49 RBI on the season. A statement from the Blue Jays reads in part: "The suspension is the result of his decision to display an unacceptable message while participating in a Major League Game. The salary lost by Yunel Escobar during his suspension will be directed by the Toronto Blue Jays to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Yunel will participate in an outreach initiative to help educate society about sensitivity and tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation. His participation will be conducted in consultation with all parties involved. Escobar will also participate in a sensitivity training program in accordance with the Toronto Blue Jays and Major League Baseball."
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