Originally posted on The Mark Graham Sports Blog  |  Last updated 9/28/12
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was met with boos during his first home game back from a suspension due to an anti-gay slur on his eye black. When the lineups were announced, Escobar was met with a few boos, but many more fans booed during Escobar's first at-bat in the first inning. The Jays suspended Escobar for three games after he wrote a slur on his eye-black in Spanish during a game against the Boston Red Sox. Escobar apologized and said that the eye-black message was meant as a joke. Escobar's lost pay, an estimated $82,000, was donated to GLAAD and You Can Play, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender athletes. You Can Play board member David Testo, an openly gay former MLS player, threw the first pitch to Escobar. Before the game, Escobar chatted with Jose Estavez, an openly gay runner from Boston College, and with Patrick Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and founder of You Can Play. "I think it put a face on the issue for Yunel," Burke said. "I think it humanized the issue of gay athletes for Yunel and I think Jose did a great job today." "After meeting with him, I like Yunel," Burke said. "I think he did a stupid thing but I think he has learned from it." "He's really sorry for what he did and I felt the sincerity when I was talking to him," Estevez said.
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