Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/18/12
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MLB is investigating Yunel Escobar after it was revealed that the Blue Jays shortstop wore eye black with a homophobic message written on them during Saturday’s game.

Escobar, who was born in Cuba, had the words “Tu ere maricon” written on his eye black for Saturday’s game against the Red Sox.

“Tu ere maricon” is Spanish for “you are a ******.” Maricon is a commonly used Spanish slur for a gay person, and it’s used very casually similar to the way “that’s gay” is used to by many in the U.S. to describe something stupid.

Even though “maricon” is used frequently, that doesn’t make it acceptable. The Blue Jays acknowledged that in a statement released on Monday.

“The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game. The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter.”

The commissioner’s office is also looking into the matter.

Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended two weeks after making homophobic statements and gestures at fans last year, so it’s quite possible Escobar could be lost for the rest of the season.

Escobar’s eye black had gone unnoticed until Monday afternoon when Blue Jays season ticket holder James Greenhalgh posted a photo of it on his Flickr account, and linked to it via his Twitter account. Greenhalgh attends every home game and sits by the dugout where he often takes pictures of the players and later shares them on his Flickr page, according to the Toronto Star.

Greenhalgh wrote on his Flickr page that he had mixed feelings about posting the photo online because he knew it would cause a stir about his favorite team, but he ultimately decided to follow through with it. He wrote:

“I was also worried that some Blue Jays fans would accuse me of ‘rocking the boat’ when I should have just ignored it, but that’s a problem with progress. When you hear or see something wrong, it’s up to everyone to let people know that that’s not right. “That’s gay”, “You’re gay”, “You’re a ***”, “You’re a ******” are not acceptable insults in 2012. They are slurs and we need to get rid of them. When our sports heroes proliferate their usage, our progress takes a step back.”

We agree wholeheartedly with his message and are glad he decided to publicize this.

Andrew Stoeten at Drunk Jays Fans speculates that this could have been the work of some sort of clubhouse prank or joke. I really don’t care what the circumstance was; wearing that message and thinking it’s OK to use those words is just wrong. Escobar will likely be punished accordingly.

Photo credit: Flickr/James_in_to

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