Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 9/18/12

In light of this afternoon's press conference with Yunel Escobar's three game suspension was announced (and Escobar claiming that his hairdresser and interior decorator were both gay), Ozzie Guillen was asked to weigh in by Shi Davidi, columnist for SportsNet in Canada. Guillen's comments were typical of him at this point.

Ozzie Guillen on Escobar: In my house we call that word every 20 seconds. Ive got three kids. For us its like `Whats up bro? Whats up dude?'

— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 18, 2012

More Ozzie Guillen: It's how you say it and to who you say it. But that's our country. We have to respect this country.

— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 18, 2012

There really are two sides to this argument: the Latin side, where the main point is essentially "the word isn't used literally", and the point of everyone else, where the literal translation is a crude, homophobic. Davidi reported that the Latin media at Escobar's press conference didn't think that there was a major issue here, and hell, so did his teammate Edwin Encarnacion.

But while in the Latin culture it's not a huge deal, the Latin culture isn't the American (or Canadian) culture. Things that would fly in Latin America might not be acceptable in the US and Canada. And when you're working (which these players are as paid employees) for a company (the team, in this case) away from home, you need to respect the cultural values of where you are. Frankly, I'd expect the same from an American player that would be playing abroad.

While Escobar's eye black comments and the statements of Guillen and Encarnacion might be valid where they're from, they're not an adequate defense in America. Encarnacion will probably just get the equivalent of a "just keep your mouth shut" conversation, while Guillen's comments will likely draw a media firestorm as is par for hte course for when he says anything remotedly controversial.


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