The Yunel Escobar saga got some semblance of closure on Tuesday when the Toronto Blue Jays announced that the shortstop was being suspended for three games after it was revealed he had a gay slur written in Spanish on his eye black during Saturday's game.
However, the ignorance—or stupidity—of Escobar makes this suspension look way too soft. He doesn't seem to understand or comprehend why this is a big deal and why there is outrage from people.
Escobar said during the press conference to announce the suspension that it was "not intentional or directed at anyone in particular," and that he has "nothing against homosexuals."
He also said (via Ben Walker of the Associated Press) that '"for us (Cubans), it doesn't have the significance to the way it's being interpreted now. It's a word without a meaning.''
I can see there is a language barrier that some players have a hard time grasping, but Escobar has been playing baseball in North America since 2005. He has had at least seven years of experience with the English language. He knows what words mean and don't mean, and what is and isn't offensive.
The fact that he would come out and defend what he wrote speaks volumes about his character. Escobar was traded from the Braves to the Blue Jays two years ago thanks in large part to his attitude on the field and in the locker room.
By basically pleading ignorance to the whole thing, the three-game suspension looks like nothing. Sure, he isn't going to get paid his salary for missing the games and will work with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
But does anyone really think that Escobar is going to change? If he had the guts to go out on the field with this written on his eye black, for everyone to see, should we just accept what he is doing and be done with it?
Escobar is getting off easy with this punishment. There is a message being sent by the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball. I just don't think it is strong enough based on what he did and what he has said after the fact.
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