Toronto Blue Jays’ Escobar Suspended 3 Games for Anti-Gay Slur, Will Donate Lost Salary to GLAAD, ‘You Can Play’


Toronto Blue Jays player Yunel Escobar, who took the field over the weekend with "Tu Ere Maricon" ("You are a faggot") painted in his eye black, will face a three game suspension and donate his lost salary to anti-defamation group GLAAD, and You Can Play, an organization dedicated to combating homophobia in sports.

Y_escobarHe will also undergo sensitivity training.

Said Escobar at a press conference this afternoon, through a translator: “I don’t have anything against homosexuals. I have friends that are gay…It’s just something that’s been said amongst the Latinos. It’s not something that’s meant to be offensive.”

If archived video becomes available of the presser, I'll be posting it later.

The Blue Jays released a statement: "The Blue Jays want to reaffirm that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. The club looks forward to supporting the efforts of You Can Play and GLAAD to help promote education for players and fans alike and to help keep language like this out of the game and society."

Said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick: "Today's actions show that MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays are committed to creating an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where discriminatory language and anti-gay attitudes are accepted."



  1. says

    Just three games? It should be 30! He thought this was funny – cool – okay??? Toronto needs to dump this guy. Had he painted “You Are A N(word)” the uproar to remove him permanently would be overwhelming.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    It wasn’t meant to be offensive? What? He thought it was cute? Of course it was meant to be offensive; he wouldn’t have bothered with it if it wasn’t. What a moron.

  3. Elsewhere says

    From now on, whenever the “I have gay friends/co-workers/employees” card is played it must be accompanied by a public appearance with said gay friends/co-workers/employees.

    Statements from the above named groups will be taken, followed by a brief question and answer period.

    And no, it’s not something that’s just said amongst Latinos; it’s something that’s said deliberately and with definite meaning amongst Latinos. There’s a difference

  4. Francis says

    The press conference was simply too amazingly awful to believe. With all of this said, I doubt Escobar will be playing for Toronto beyond this season. There is definitely A LOT of anger towards him from Blue Jay fans and the press conference he just gave harmed him even more.

    He tried making excuses and came up with gems such as “the person who cuts my hair is gay” and “I didn’t mean it like that”. I mean, I am almost speechless. That was really crazy. Yunel Escobar seems really stupid.

  5. Hue-Man says

    I still don’t know why he did it. I hope he gets advice on how to give a real apology – “I know some gay people” isn’t an auspicious start. BTW, I’m sure You Can Play will be happy to accept the cash.

  6. xael says

    i am cuban and i am gay and some of my straight friends say this, i know they mean no harm, sometimes when i’m stuck in traffic and someone cuts in front of me i say it too… is just a way of saying you are a pussy,it is used in the Caribbean … i’m glad you can play will get some money from this whole thing cus i think they are doing a great job …. i dont think Escobar meant to hurt anybody and the apologies are never good enough for the bitter ones ….we (gays) as a community are more sensitive than a nipple piercing …everything is an attack everything is an insult… chill

  7. Brian says

    Unless this is some slang I’m not familiar with, in addition to being a bigot his eyeliner displays his stupidity as well. It’s “tu eres”, not “ere” and since it just means “are”, it’s hardly obscure and a Spanish speaker should certainly know how to spell it.

  8. Fahd says

    No doubt homophobia is a more accepted part of everyday life wherever he comes from. Newsflash: he’s an uneducated baseball player with limited intelligence.

    The team’s at fault here. Ineffective training in the basics of being a major league player. No one saw this? Would he have been on the field with a racial slur under his eyes? Somehow I think they’d have caught that – in grammatically incorrect Spanish or not.

    Why three games though – are there sentencing guidelines somewhere?

    Still, actions have consequences…lets hope he can ex(s)trapolate.


  9. Paula Gato says

    Do your research people. It’s like black people calling each other the n word, but don’t call them that if you don’t know them. I t was poor judgement on his part,because it could potentially be seen by all but was meant for his Latino colleagues only.
    Look at this cultural explanation,if you are so open minded.
    Friday, July 20, 2007
    What does maricón really mean?
    Q: Hispanic presidential candidate Bill Richardson was recently accused of using the slur against homosexuals maricón, faggot. He said he used it in a playful manner, that where he comes from it is not insulting. What does maricón really mean? What’s the etymology?

    A: It means homosexual. It also means lacking spirit or aggressiveness. Maricón derives from Maria. It’s the diminutive form used euphemistically for women. Since medieval times it has been used for homosexuals in Romance languages. Governor Richardson is partly right in saying that it’s not offensive in some Spanish-speaking communities. It all depends who says it, and under what circumstances. Playing soccer, for instance, if you miss a clear goal, your teammates will exclaim: Qué maricón, hermano! Literally: What a fogget you are, brother! But what they really meant was: how can you miss, brother? In this case it has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

  10. Caliban says

    Lol! “It’s just something said among Hispanics”?! Yeah, Hispanics who call people f*ggots!

    That might be the lamest “apology” I’ve heard.

    But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that what he intended was “You are a pussy.” Would that make it acceptable? No.

  11. PAUL B. says

    @Paula…hey girlfriend, get a clue. Shame on you whatever you are, wherever you’re from.
    You sound like you’re “educated” but have no common sense. Ignorance is not an excuse…and you should know it.

  12. Rick says

    “With all of this said, I doubt Escobar will be playing for Toronto beyond this season. There is definitely A LOT of anger towards him from Blue Jay fans”

    So many of you so grossly over-estimate the degree of interest most of the population has in gay issues. The truth of the matter is that most people are apathetic when it comes to homophobia, few of them have strongly favorable views of gays or feel any real anger when they witness a homophobic incident, and the perpetrator of the incident is therefore never going to get more than a slap on the wrist, as is the case in this situation.

    The guy probably would not even have been suspended if the Blue Jays were in playoff contention, but since the season is practically over and they are just playing out the string, they went ahead and slapped him on the wrist.

    No doubt he will be back next season and the whole incident will long be forgotten.

    Gays are NOT a popular group with the public, even among people who believe we should have equal rights……and we are not likely ever to become a popular group until gay culture gets a complete overhaul….

  13. Bill says

    If he wrote something, anything negative about Jews his world would come crashing down. He would be kicked out of the league before an “investigation” ever started. Anyway, he will go through the motions but nothing will change. Do you really believe going to GLAAD for a couple hours will change his mind, a mind he’s had from an early age? Anti-gay bigotry doesn’t have to have gay people in view to exist. Heterosexual-only and heterosexual-better mindsets are all that is required for anti-gay bigotry to exist.

  14. Pommie says

    @Paula: Then better learn to use the word where it would be accepted ‘coz the civilized society certainly didn’t like it. Stop giving us this BS and go educate yourself or are you really this dumb so as to not realise that cultures do vary? Having said that when you realsie this that you’re coming from an uneducated, uncivilized society then you should just stop using your cute-word-of-my-community thingy while playing at a level which carries global implications.

  15. Ozu says

    On top of being a homophobe, he also can’t spell. It should be “Tu Eres Maricón” not “Tu Ere Maricon.”

    and @Paula… it is not like “like black people calling each other the n word,” what it’s like is white people calling other white people the n word. And don’t hand me that crap about it having nothing to do with sexual orientation at all. Just like teenagers tossing around remarks like “that’s so gay” and “he talks like a fag” it uses my sexual orientation as a put-down even if it’s not meant that way. Saying that the word is derived from “Maria” does that make it any better? Why not just say “you throw like a girl?” The guy’s a pig and he should go back to Cuba where his homophobia and sexism will be appreciated.

  16. KP says

    I fear the You Can Play Project is becoming a band-aid just like GLAAD already is – say something offensive, and then go running to the organization for “forgiveness”. If I where them, I would agree to educate Escobar but refuse the money.

  17. Derrick from Philly says

    “…that you’re coming from an uneducated, uncivilized society then you should just stop using your cute-word-of-my-community

    uh…oh I hope I’m not seeing another Ratbastard on the horizen. Escobar is descended from Spaniards as well as Africans. He’s a product of both of our races, Pommie.

  18. jaragon says

    Did he explain why he wrote that nasty word on his face? In the videos he comes across a dumb Latino jock. And speaking of morons what is Paula talking about- of course it’s an offensive word-it means faggot. Don’t use the it’s just an ethnic thing excuse.

  19. Marzee says

    No, it’s true. My Mom is Latina and she used to draw on my face with a crayon before school: MUTHAFUCKA CRACKA. It’s part of our culture to write hate speech on our faces. Haven’t you seen Westside Story for chrissakes?

  20. FunMe says

    “I have friends that are gay…It’s just something that’s been said amongst the Latinos. It’s not something that’s meant to be offensive.”

    Oh the “some of best friends are gay” and “I was only joking excuse”

    I speak Spanish, and NO it is not something that is said among Latinos. When it is said is an INSULT and that needs to stop being OK to say.

    So glad he will have to forgo some of his salary.

    Is he ESTUPIDO? With so many pro athletes being fined for saying hateful things against gay people, don’t these guys learn anything?

  21. basic standards says


    Just like the Beastie Boys screaming out “F*ggot!!” at their concerts.

    All parties knew (1) exactly what the f*cking word means; and (2) that it’s a slur/slam/insult.

  22. Lupe says

    so in the soccer example from Richardson– that would be like American footballers saying to a kicker who missed a fieldgoal from close in …”you are such a faggot, brother” and that would make it okay…and …

    it’s not okay for Bill Richardson to call someone “maricon”..he can do that in the other countries he’s talking about.

  23. Pommie says

    Derrick: I meant society and not race Mr. Derrick. You can read the comment again if you want but if you still don’t get it then read Sociology, you’ll get the difference.

  24. Francis says

    No, Funme, these guys don’t learn anything. Sad, but they, and their fans, for the most part, will continue being ignorant. Perhaps this incident will be a change given how blatant it was. I will say post-Kobe and Noah anti-gay incidents in the NBA, that things have improved there. Things are getting better. Players are speaking out in support of our rights. But the fact of the matter is that sports is an anti-gay world and it’s going to take a culture change to fix that.

  25. jason says

    Oh, so here’s the “I have friends who are gay” excuse yet again!!!!!!!!! My, my, how many times has this excuse been used by homophobes in all walks of life, from sports to the music industry to the comedians.

    Yes, I have friends who are gay. So did Hitler.

  26. Ed says

    Agreed, “maricón” definitely translates to being a pussy in this case but you are an MLB player being watched by an english speaking audience that is also backed by a very sensitive media culture. They shouldn’t have suspended him but encouraged him to deliver a public apology for the misunderstanding and harm done.

  27. Wil in MSP says

    I am sorry but this guy should be punished far worse than what he was. Suspend this jackass for the remainder of the season and hand over all that money.

    Makes me so terribly pissed off. But I will just try to take comfort in the fact that, slowly but surely, more Chris Kluwe’s, Brendon Ayanbadejo’s, and Michael Irvin’s are out there in the professional sports world replacing mental midgets like Escobar.

    [My apologies if this is a duplicate post. I am unable to recall if I posted this prior to a phone call or not.]

  28. Francis says

    BTW, Rick, you’re more homophobic than most straight people. So your opinion is irrelevant. I will say, it’s true, many straight people, many gays even, are apathetic when it comes to the livelihoods of LGBT citizens. Sadly. But you definitely underestimate the amount of people who are offended by this. I know you don’t care, though, because it doesn’t suit what you want to believe.

  29. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    Poor Rick–so full of hatred for the feminine–and just can’t stop projecting his self-hatred on the world around him. Very too bad. The only gay “friends” he would have would be self-haters like himself. And I would imagine he’s closeted from any straight “friends” – if he has any.

  30. says

    Y’all will be happy to know that Toronto, and all of Canada, has been blowing up over this. Our pride celebration draws millions every year. It’s a city that not only has a thriving LGBT Community, but a very active ALLY community.

    Toronto is a place where you don’t want spout anti-gay rhetoric. The locals don’t take kindly to bigotry.

    This was the leading news story all day. Thank ya, Canada 😀

  31. Michael says

    I am surprised noone brought this up so I will…

    Why was he even allowed to go in the field wearing it? You can not tell me what it said didn’t spread like wild fire amongst the entire dug out. It’s a safe bet the entire team and managers by them knew exactly what it said before he even walked on the field.

    There is a lot more to this story and GLADD or whomever needs to tell them to shove that money up his arse.

  32. Scott mcg says

    I don’t agree with Rick, usually, at at actually, but Escobar is not going anywhere. He is one of the strongest power hitters in the league and one of the best Blue Jay players. Sports fans have a short memory and forgive a lot. Look at Michael Vick? It has nothing to do with a problem in gay culture but more sport culture and atheletes having a different set of rules.

  33. Andrew says

    The only people dumber and more idiotic than Escobar are most of the usual suspects who post on this site. Read their stupid comments and weep for the future of this Republic.

  34. Bob says

    @XAEL –you can fool yourself that it is not offensive to Cubans, but it is offensive to most Gay people, and certainly to Gay folks whose heritage is Mexican, etc.
    @PAULA GATO — YOU ARE A COMPLETE IDIOT or a bigot to think that calling someone a faggot to taunt him is acceptable.
    from Wiki—In Spain, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Cuba the word has a stronger meaning with a very negative emphasis; akin to “faggot” or “poof” in the English language. In Argentina, Chile, and Mexico maricón or marica is especially used to denote a “chicken” (coward). In Chile, maricón also means “irrationally sadistic.”

  35. millerbeach says

    @Andrew…Andy probably has no control over what pops up in banner ads. The same thing happened over at, in a discussion about Chick-Fil-A, during its celebration of hate, back on 8/1, a coupon kept appearing in one of the pop-ups or banner ads…drawing ire of readers….but it has happened before…an outside firm, more than likely, is selling that ad space to any buyer, even if it seems to contradict the website it is on. Also, some people from the “other side” peruse this board on a regular (and well-documented) basis, so who knows, that ad may be hitting its target audience after all. Don’t shame Andy without knowing all the facts, please. As for “maricon”, there is NO positive reference for this word, no matter who or what nationality says it. It is derogatory in ANY Hispanic nation, and, as he discovered, also in Canada.

  36. Xavier says

    Not only it is stupid, offensive, and a sign of bad judgement, but it is misspelled!
    It should read “Eres maricon”.
    Omitting the last S is a common mistake that people with bad education make. I am not surprised Mr. Neanderthal could not even spell his offensive remarks correctly.

  37. says

    I was glad to see MLB had Escobar pay part of his fine to a gay cause. Back in 2000, when Chicago Cubs pitcher Julian Taverez,called S.F. fans “faggots”, I took the time to write Commissioner Bud Selig, to recommend that Taverez fine should go to Gay Community Centers in S.F. and Chicago. So many MLB teams now have OUT Days at their ballparks, and actions like this must be addressed and players need to know that their stupidity will cost them big bucks.

  38. Brian says

    Wow you people need to get lives and quit paying attention to what other people do if everyone would pay attention to their own lives then it wouldnt even matter when someone did this at least a bunch of fags didnt kill no one over this and thank god he didnt say f**k muslims or toronto might be a dust cloud now

  39. Brian says

    And why are people offended by being called what they are call me an a*****e and i will smile and say yep if I was offended with being called what I am then I what stop being what I am so if your a fag and have a problem with being called a fag then maybe your insecure with yourself about what you are

  40. ratbastard says


    You have too much common-sense, and are too down to Earth, to be gay. I wish more gay men would have your attitude.

    I admit I freely use ‘bad’ words when I’m angry all the time, including the F word, not just the 4 letter one. And I’m not ‘homophobic’ or anti-gay, I’m a flawed human.

  41. Ricco says

    @Paula Gato

    Get educated yourself.

    Black people hav historically called each other the “N” word . . . although it is increasing becoming less and less acceptable even among them, but Blacks have never considered the the “N” word weas an accceptable word for others to use, even if they were directing the word at each other.

    Gays have also called each other the “F” word . . . and like the “N” word is not a word we like to hear in the mouths of others.

    We are not merely talking about BS political correctness.If Escobar and Ozzie Guillen, all in good fun, want to rib their friends, then why not use use a racial slur representing their ethnicity, or call each other “A-holes?

    That would be emminently more apropro.

    They ar being offensive, and then expect us to be like you, GATO . . . too stupid to be offended.

  42. hampton says

    Should you not be asking who in the clubhouse painted his face.? He does not seem like the type who is artistically inclined. When toronto lets him go he can go back home and work in the fields or become a cab driver for the tourists.

  43. Jose says

    Yes, “maricon” is a common, mostly friendly ,way to address one another in some Hispanic cultures. However, you have to be an absolute idiot to slap that on your face in an anglosaxon or a wider environment, even Hispanic, at a sports match no less. Moreover, the fact that people call each other “marica” with no sexual or derogatory implications in some cultures is slowly becoming charged by those derogatory nuances simply because today homosexuals are more visible and open in those same cultures where it was inconceivable someone would actually admit to be gay.

  44. SkoobySnaks says

    First of all if you don’t know what the word means, then you shouldn’t even be commenting on it. The word is used by many Spanish speaking countries. It is a bad word in some, but in others its kind of like saying dude, homie, ese, cabron, or any other word that shows camaraderie but in a harsher, more vulgar way. In Mexico, it does mean fag, but again, thats not how its used in other countries.

    Gays should have their rights. Everyone should. But you can’t expect people to like you. Gay people have no problem bashing straight people and forcing their beliefs on them. Gays and straights are the same, so stop trying to create a division.

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