Is it our deeply-rooted religious beliefs, our traditionally conservative culture or prevailing traces of "machismo" that allow for such clear-cut cases of homophobic expression to still infiltrate Latino culture?
The onus is not just on gay athletes to come out, that lays with all athletes, gay or straight, to make it clear that gay players are welcome in the locker room.
Yunel Escobar has served his three-game suspension for writing a gay slur on his eye black last Saturday, and will return to the Toronto Blue Jays lineup tonight. Wait, didn't that happen, like, yesterday? We've barely had time to breathe, and now Escobar is returning?
The fuss over Blue Jays player Yunel Escobar's eye black bearing the words "Tu ere maricon," which translates into "You are a faggot," is mindful of Northcote Parkinson's dictum -- easy to understand and convenient for getting mindlessly indignant about, as if this was an unforgivable outrage to human dignity.
Escobar's vitriol, sadly, hurts more than just his team and his career endorsements. It hurts the hundreds of young LGBTQ sports enthusiasts and athletes around the world who revere him.
Earlier I was called out for using the words "retarded" and "handicapped" in a couple of tweets which referenced Yunel Escobar, the Blue Jays shortstop in hot water for writing the words "Tu ere maricon" ("You are a faggot") in his black eye. I offended someone. I apologized, and after an honest, open, and level- headed conversation concluded that I should be more conscientious. I wasn't foolish enough to write the words across my face, but still, for what I did in the first place, I suppose I'm pretty stupid as well.
Baltimore scored two in the ninth to tie and two in the 18th to beat Seattle 4-2. The Orioles and Yankees are tied for first place again.
Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays shouldn't be that surprised that outfielder Yunel Escobar painted a derogatory slur on his face. In general the Blue Jays seem to have a problem with their words. Outside the bubble of the Rogers Centre, however, words do have a meaning. Sadly, we only really seem to care about homophobia in sports when someone uses their words incorrectly.
Imagine walking into your workplace tomorrow morning, grabbing a marker from the supply closet, walking into the boardroom and writing the words "You are a Faggot" on the company white board. How do you think the boss would react? The Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escoba wrote those words in his black eye and received a three-game suspension. Three games? For offending every homosexual watching at home? For telling every athlete out there that even in 2012 you shouldn't feel comfortable coming out of the closet? The Jays should be ashamed of themselves.
There's really not much to say about what Yunel Escobar said, or tried to say. Truth is, we won't even hear what he did mean, because he, Major League Baseball, and the Jays will want to distance themselves from it. The game will try and brush over it like it's dirt on home plate, and that's the real problem here. It's not the incident. That exists with Yunel, and Yunel alone. But, it's how the game handles it that matters. At the end of the day, Escobar's eye black gives us no insight into some kind of underground, homophobic baseball culture.