One thing is certain: when Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar took the field on Saturday, he had the words “TU ERE MARICON” written on his face. That much can be confirmed with photographic evidence.
The issue that no one can seem to agree on is just how unacceptable Escobar’s statement was. This is because there’s no clear Spanish-to-English translation of the phrase.
Many have suggested that it’s a homophobic slur, equivalent to “You’re a f*ggot.” Others have argued that the phrase is commonly used among Latin American baseball players and that it translates to a much more innocuous “You’re a wuss.” So, the statement is definitely derogatory, but not necessarily homophobic.
Either way, it makes no sense why Escobar thought it would be a good idea to emblazon his face with the words.
The Blue Jays have issued a formal statement, condemning Escobar’s actions. The team says that it does 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.”
At this point, its unclear whether Escobar will face discipline for Major League Baseball. A sad reality of professional sports is that homophobia is rampant and usually overlooked. When words are pasted on a players face, however, then things escalate to a level that is impossible to ignore.
UPDATE: The Blue Jays have suspended Escobar for three days. His forfeited salary is expected to be donated to charity.