Escobar Suspended for Three Games


“I didn’t do it to offend anybody…I was surprised.”

The Toronto Blue Jays suspended shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games today as a result of his display of a homophobic slur on his eye black in a September 15 game against the Boston Red Sox.  The Escobar incident drew a big crowd to their press conference in New York this afternoon, indeed, the Blue Jays have not received media attention in New York like this for quite some time.  Escobar, Manager John Farrell and General Manager Alex Anthopoulos all answered questions at the press conference.  After conferring with the Commissioner’s Office and the Commissioner himself, Anthopoulos stated that the club agreed to suspend Escobar.

Escobar admitted that he acted alone in putting the message on his eye black, and that it was a “great error”.  Escobar also stated that “there is a different understanding in the Latin community about this word”.  Escobar said that he wrote the message on his eye black ten minutes prior to Saturday’s game, but that he didn’t do it to offend anyone.  Escobar was very coy during the press conference, often repeating over and over that he did not mean to offend anyone, but failing to clarify precisely what message he was trying to communicate with the statement.  Escobar certainly didn’t do himself any favours by failing to clarify how this phrase is used in his culture, what he intended to say with this message, and why he wrote it on his face.

Manager John Farrell said that he had no reason to suspect Escobar because the shortstop has previously written non-offensive, inspirational messages on his eye black on many occasions this season.  Escobar said that he has been writing messages on his eye black for most of his Major League career.

As I argued yesterday, the difficult part about this incident is the fact that none of Escobar’s teammates said anything about the message on his eye black.  Farrell implied that the message was clear in close-up photos and video, but not so much in person.  With all due respect to John Farrell, this argument is ludicrous.  Somebody in the Jays’ dugout must have been close enough to Escobar to read what was written on his face.

There are bigger questions emerging from this incident: is the suspension appropriate and should Escobar return to play for the Blue Jays this season or beyond?  In my opinion expressed yesterday, a 3 game suspension is too light and Escobar needs to be traded this off-season.  His attitude is clearly a problem for both he, and now, his teammates.

What is your opinion?  Feel free to leave comments below.

Follow me on Twitter: @MaxWarnerMLB


  1. who the heck are you to suggest that Esco should be traded because of his off colour message? Faggot is a word that is thrown about liberally in all sports circles. There is nothing shocking about this.It is also thrown around liberally in Latin America. Indeed I have at times wondered about on which side of the fence Esco plays. He may have been outing himself for all we know.
    Go bark up another tree maricon.

    • The “f” word in this case was not displayed in Latin America. It was displayed in Canada, and Escobar has been playing professional ball in North America since 2005. It is a different culture in North America, and Escobar knew or should have known that. The fact that the “f” word is used wrongfully and liberally in other sports circles does not justify what Escobar did. The word is certainly not used in a positive context in North America or North American sports circles, hence Escobar’s suspension. As I said in the article yesterday, part of the reason I think Escobar should be traded is because of his attitude-of which this incident is but one example.

  2. Dear Author, I find your article judgmental, and anti escobar, who happens to be my favourite player, and on behalf of him, myself, and his many fans, Author Tu Ere Maricon!….

    • Of course it’s judgemental…. we all watch sports and make judgements based on our own set of morals and ideals. That’s what op-ed writing is. If you are implying it’s biased, it’s not. Tell me, what did you think of Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Albert Haynesworth, Chad Johnson, Pete Rose, etc etc… when they committed the acts that have left them with tarnished legacies? I would find it hard to believe you were so forgiving. This was an op-ed backed up by facts.

      • All I am stating is i am sure this guy has been in his car, watching tv, or something else and called someone gay, probably with the F*g at some point, hypocrisy is what seems to be the most obvious here. He probably called a player he writes about gay, I mean cut Escobar some slack, everyone fights for free speech and when someone takes advantage of it they rip the guy to shreds. Tebow wrote on his eyeblack and so-called God is more than offensive to some people, but because our society insists on one myth while another on theirs, Tebow is okay to state what he believes but Escobar is not. Either one or the other, nobody says nothing, or everyone says something. Ps. Tebow’s bible verses are against gays too!

        • I, nor anyone here, has written about Tebow’s opinions about religion. In fact, we did run a Tebow article several months ago and specifically said that we want to avoid talking about his beliefs concerning religion because what one believes is up to him/her. I would like to leave it at that – you have your opinion, which I decided to approve in all fairness, as I did for Max’s op-ed piece of Escobar. I believe in free speech, and truly am happy you have found our site. In fact, I hope you will come back again soon and look forward to your participation. I just want to avoid discussing much further about what we personally believe because that is not only dangerous, but has the potential to offend, and I just dont’ want that for the site. We, as fans, are in this together.

          Thanks Casey,