Yunel Escobar's "MARICON" Eyeblack Gives MLB Black Eye

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    Sep 18, 2012 2:52 AM GMT
    original.jpg

    http://deadspin.com/5943997/yunel-escobars-eyeblack-reads-you-are-a-faggot-in-spanish

    DeadspinThe image above comes from Saturday's Blue Jays game, and it shows shortstop Yunel Escobar with the Spanish phrase "Tu Ere Maricon" written on his eyeblack. That translates into English as, "You Are A Faggot." We've tried to come up with a plausible explanation for this. The best we've got is that Yunel lost a bet.

    By the way, Escobar sat out Sunday's game with "flu-like symptoms." Maybe that's a nice of way of saying, "Benched for being a dick in public."


    We had Escobar here two seasons ago (came up through our farm system), and while I enjoyed his aggressive fielding when he was here, I heard repeatedly among Bravos fans concerned about his immaturity. This is a sign that he still may have a way to go.

    One rumor suggests he may have lost a bet with someone and was "forced" to wear it, but that again would reveal his maturity is still wanting. He's almost 30 years old and in his sixth MLB season.

    MLB and the Blue Jays team have been investigating:

    TORONTO (AP) -- Yahoo! SportsMajor League Baseball is checking reports that Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar played Saturday's game against Boston wearing eye-black displaying a homophobic slur written in Spanish.

    Pictures posted online show Escobar with the message written in his eye-black, a sticker players wear under their eyes to reduce glare from the sun.

    The slur did not appear to be directed at any person in particular.

    MLB spokesman Pat Courtney confirmed the commissioner's office is looking into the reports.

    ''The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter,'' the Blue Jays said in a statement Monday night, adding they ''do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday's game.''

    The team said Escobar will be available to the media Tuesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium along with general manager Alex Anthopoulos, manager John Farrell and coach Luis Rivera.
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    Sep 18, 2012 12:38 PM GMT
    bumpity bumpity bumpity

    The Blue Jays' press conference is scheduled for (EDIT: 3:30 PM) this afternoon.
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:23 PM GMT
    I wonder if he'd have been brave enough to have one that said
    STFU NIGGER

    Anyways. I'm sure in the next day or so as is sure to pass he'll be making some forced apology.
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:41 PM GMT
    What's worse, being a faggot or a spic? Personally I'd take faggot all day everyday over being a nasty disgusting spic like this scum.
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:49 PM GMT
    turbofan saidWhat's worse, being a faggot or a spic? Personally I'd take faggot all day everyday over being a nasty disgusting spic like this scum.


    Qué marica más imbécil de verdad icon_confused.gificon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:55 PM GMT
    Commentary from the guy on Flickr who posted the picture:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/james_in_to/7997101156/in/photostream

    Mr. James Greenhalgh, via FlickrI have been conflicted about posting this picture since last night. I have a privileged seat near the Blue Jays dugout and allows me a close up of some pretty awesome moments. This one, however, is really disappointing. For those whose Spanish isn't fluent, have never seen Scarface or fail at google, Yunel's eyeblack "TU ERE MARICON" translates to "You're a faggot". There are some small Spanish locales where it translates to "pussy" not "faggot" but that's a very small possibility.

    I started asking myself why I wouldn't just post this image right away. It needs to be seen and it needs to be known that this is not okay. I was concerned that the players may be able to recognize that this was me who took this picture and would therefore rebuff the whistleblower but this is something Escobar wore on the field. He knew the possibility that a member of the Red Sox noticed it and commented on it, or even the umpiring crew. This is a bad word. It's a homophobic slur. It may have made a closeted Blue Jay/Red Sox very upset inside. There are a million insults he could have used that would have been funny, this was not one of them.

    I was also worried that some Blue Jays fans would accuse me of "rocking the boat" when I should have just ignored it, but that's a problem with progress. When you hear or see something wrong, it's up to everyone to let people know that that's not right. "That's gay", "You're gay", "You're a fag", "You're a faggot" are not acceptable insults in 2012. They are slurs and we need to get rid of them. When our sports heroes proliferate their usage, our progress takes a step back.

    How did it happen? Did Yunel write it? Did someone else write it and Yunel put it on anyway because he found it funny? Would he have ever gotten away with it if it was in English? Was Yunel's "flu" on Sunday the truth or disciplinarian action? There are Spanish speaking coaches who should have recognized and nixed this immediately as well.

    I like Yunel a lot, he's the one who pays me the most notice when I'm at the games. He points to his fans, tips his cap and recognizes the support he is given. This was a mistake I hope he learns and he will never make again.
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:57 PM GMT
    beneful1 saidI wonder if he'd have been brave enough to have one that said
    STFU NIGGER

    Anyways. I'm sure in the next day or so as is sure to pass he'll be making some forced apology.


    He'd put it en Espanol and expect nobody around him would notice.
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:57 PM GMT
    You have to wonder why someone would do something so obviously stupid.
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    Dallasfan824 saidYou have to wonder why someone would do something so obviously stupid.


    Because he's stupid?
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    Sep 18, 2012 3:04 PM GMT
    beneful1 said
    Dallasfan824 saidYou have to wonder why someone would do something so obviously stupid.


    Because he's stupid?


    Well clearly. But you would think someone with more brains inside the organization would understand the implications and stopped him.
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    Sep 18, 2012 3:13 PM GMT
    All depends.. maybe those who noticed it don't speak Spanish and didn't give it any thought..
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    Sep 18, 2012 3:15 PM GMT
    I'm sure the apology will be anything but sincere. No one does this without some serious issues lying deep beneath the surface. I love baseball but I'm hoping MLB actually takes some action to reprimand this guy as a sign that this type of behavior is unacceptable.
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    Sep 18, 2012 3:16 PM GMT
    I see an attempt at phonetic spelling, lol. Although in the Cuban accent it really sounds like "Tu ereh maricong."
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    Sep 18, 2012 3:17 PM GMT
    Recalling him from his Braves years (someone, please tell me he's not still rocking the frosted-tips look), he was a low-IQ immature guy who was a douchey downer behind the scenes in a routinely fun-loving clubhouse. When Bobby Cox benched him for lackadaisical baserunning and fielding in 2009, he used a Latino teammate as a shield, letting him translate and answer media questions for him, pretending to be incapable of speaking ANY English. Our local paper referred to his trade to Toronto in 2010 as "Addition by Subtraction."

    http://markbowman.mlblogs.com/2010/07/14/wren-had-to-trade-escobar/

    Mark Bowman (MLB.com)...there’s also a
    chance that Escobar’s personality would have continued to prove to be a
    negative presence within an otherwise harmonious clubhouse...

    “It’s easier to put up with that kind of stuff when the guy is hitting
    .300,” one veteran Braves player said in reference to the fact that he
    and his teammates have been less forgiving of Escobar’s mental mistakes
    while watching him hit just .239 with ZERO homers and 19 RBIs this
    year.

    When you look at Gonzalez’ career statistics you see
    jumps that appear to be as dramatic as the ones Escobar has staged while
    drawing attention to himself in the on-deck circle.

    When you look at Escobar, you see a 27-year-old shortstop with a world of
    potential and a personality that could have proven to be detrimental to
    the Braves as they attempt to make a strong postseason push this year.

    Wren saw this potential and also recognized the fact that many members of
    his team wanted him to get rid of Escobar.


    I can't imagine the hellfire the Braves franchise would have caught if this had happened on their watch. They're still reeling from John Rocker, and from Roger McDowell just last year.
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    Sep 18, 2012 3:43 PM GMT
    http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/article/1258218--was-yunel-escobar-s-face-painted-with-a-homophobic-slur-not-so-fast

    Was Yunel Escobar’s face painted with a homophobic slur? Not so fast

    Toronto StarHere’s what we know: That when Yunel Escobar decided to take the field wearing a disparaging term written in Spanish on his eye black, he did something stupid.

    Here’s what we don’t know: Exactly how stupid.

    We start with the linguistics of slang. What does ‘Tu ere maricon’ mean?

    “It is derogatory, but it’s not necessarily homophobic,” said Maria Cristina Cuervo, a professor of Spanish at the University of Toronto.

    Yes, it can mean ‘You are a faggot’. But according to Cuervo, context is everything. The word is a derivation of the proper name Maria del Carmen. The diminutive form of that name has morphed into an effeminizing epithet that has a clear gender component, but not necessarily a sexual one.

    “I would take it as, ‘You are like a girl. You’re weak’,” Cuervo said. “I don’t curse much, so I don’t know the appropriate level in English. It has to be something like ‘wuss’.”

    In Spanish-speaking families, according to Cuervo, parents might refer to a 7-year-old boy who’s crying as a maricon, as in ‘Don’t be such a baby’. You might say the same thing in the same situation to a female child.

    “If anything, it’s sexism against women,” Cuervo said wryly. Overall, she didn’t seem predisposed to be shocked by the use of the word: “It’s trash talking.”

    Complicating matters are the regionalisms involved, Cuerto pointed out. In the Domincan Republic, maricon is nearly always meant in a vulgar, aggressive way. In Puerto Rico, not as much. Inside the melting pot of North American baseball, populated by a variety of Spanish speakers, those variant strains can be harder to decipher.

    She also noted a point of grammar. The word (and the insult) is made stronger if maricon is used as a noun. It isn’t in this case, because there is no un modifying it (as in un maricon).

    Given all that, the use of the word ‘faggot’ as a catch-all translation would seem an oversimplification.

    It’s possible that Escobar meant ‘maricon’ in its inter-familial form. Not at all likely, but possible.

    Given that he isn’t walking into a time warp that takes him back to 1890 after every game and that he should have some instinct for survival, it seems quite possible that Escobar meant the word in its de-sexualized context, as a generic goof.

    If so, it will be up to him to articulate that to a skeptical audience on Tuesday afternoon.

    There’s also the question of why he did it. Was this the terms of a losing bet? Was the insult directed at someone specific? There is even the very slim possibility that, as part of some elaborate clubhouse prank, he didn’t realize what was written on the strips. Again, unlikely, but possible.

    In order to explain the word, Escobar is going to have to explain the context in which it was used. Any hedging on that score is going to undermine his presumable ‘I was just kidding’ excuses.

    Given what’s at stake, we’ve never had a non-sports-related sports controversy quite like it in the city. Homophobic scandals (presumptive) don’t generally come freighted with so much grey area.

    Having not yet gotten any explanation from the source, it’s too early for torches and pitchforks (though a great many already have them out). Escobar’s odd decision still lands in a large range — anything from tone-deaf to hate speech.

    Two things need to be explained: What did he mean? Why did he do it?

    Then there’s the thorny issue of the Jays response.

    If Escobar is convincing that he meant this in non-homophobic fun — an apology on general principles, the promise to toss his Sharpies, and a short suspension.

    But it what Escobar intended falls on the dark side of the spectrum, there is no way the Jays can keep faith with a cosmopolitan fan-base while keeping their shortstop too.
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    Sep 18, 2012 4:41 PM GMT
    yunel_escobar_eyeblack2.jpg

    http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2012/09/18/did-yunel-escobar-previously-write-no-penis-on-his-eye-black/

    Cyd Zeigler (OutSports)...after a little digging we’ve discovered eye black is not part of Escobar’s regular uniform. In fact, he almost never wears it. Scanning hundreds of images of Escobar this season, I found only one other instance of him with eye black: An Aug. 29 game against the New York Yankees.

    The photos I’ve found aren’t super clear, but it looks like the eye black says “K pinga no.” “Pinga” is the Spanish word for “penis.” Why on earth would someone write “no penis” on his eye black?

    Something’s obviously afoot with Escobar. To never wear eye black, then to make two bizarre, off-putting (to say the least) statements the two times in a season he wears it reveals a strange character. So that’s another possibility.


    Dustin Parkes (The Score)While Escobar himself might suggest that the meaning he meant to convey with the writing below his eyes was something along the less offensive lines, it should be noted that this isn’t the first time that the shortstop has adorned his eye black with something offensive having to do with sexuality.

    According to Out Sports, Escobar wore eye black during an August 29th game in New York that had the following lettering: “K PINGA NO,” which, assuming the “K” is short for “que,” would translate to something along the lines of “that no dick.” Que Pinga is also a Cuban slang term that means, “What the fuck?”

    While we await to hear Escobar’s explanation for this past weekend’s misstep, I find it difficult to grasp any mitigating circumstances that could lead to a no-harm-no-foul dismissal of his actions. Before this latest discovery, those willing to accept that the language Escobar used on Saturday wasn’t directly offensive to homosexuals, would have a hard time persuading me that even if the shortstop’s intentions weren’t rooted in homophobia, he wasn’t aware of the connotations of what was written on his eye black.

    This, to me, isn’t something that’s easily forgivable, and it’s certainly not something that should be quickly forgotten by Blue Jays fans, the Blue Jays franchise or Major League Baseball.
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    Sep 18, 2012 4:57 PM GMT
    no longer a fan icon_sad.gif i refuse to cheer for a person that spreads hate. A gifted athlete for sure, but to spread a message of hate while knowing that your core audience are impressionable children is just inexcusable. He should not only be fined, but have to work with young LGTB people and see just how hard it is in their everyday life dealing with this kind of thing from their peers......let alone their heroes. a simple $5000 fine (or whatever they give him) to a millionaire is a joke. make him see what his stupid immature actions actually do to people. icon_sad.gif shame on you
  • coolarmydude

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    Sep 18, 2012 5:04 PM GMT
    dayumm said
    We had Escobar here two seasons ago (came up through our farm system), and while I enjoyed his aggressive fielding when he was here, I heard repeatedly among Bravos fans concerned about his immaturity. This is a sign that he still may have a way to go.

    One rumor suggests he may have lost a bet with someone and was "forced" to wear it, but that again would reveal his maturity is still wanting. He's almost 30 years old and in his sixth MLB season.


    This is exactly how I view this. This was a moment of immaturity and not a moment of overt homophobia.
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    Sep 18, 2012 5:48 PM GMT
    The lack of s is jarring.
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    Sep 18, 2012 5:52 PM GMT
    Ariodante saidThe lack of s is jarring.


    "Tu ere" Indeed, it i.

    icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 18, 2012 5:54 PM GMT
    Haha, I seldom ever pronounce final-s, so I can let that go despite the misspelling.
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    Sep 18, 2012 6:04 PM GMT
    I think he should have been more polite and formal and gone with "usted."
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    Sep 18, 2012 6:06 PM GMT
    Does it really need parsing?

    Suppose it was written in English your a faggit... with two obvious misspellings I think the message comes through loud and clear.
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    Sep 18, 2012 6:06 PM GMT
    showme saidI think he should have been more polite and formal and gone with "usted."


    I would prefer to be addressed as "vuestra merced", gracias!
  • tazzari

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    Sep 18, 2012 6:06 PM GMT
    One more moron who is about to learn the limits of what you can get away with.... Maybe he should run for office - the GOP is looking for people like that.