Escobar suspended for slur

Sept. 18, 2012 at 4:43 PM
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TORONTO, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar was hit with a three-game suspension Tuesday for displaying a gay slur written in Spanish on eye black during a game.

The team said in a release that the salary Escobar will forfeit for displaying the slur during the Blue Jays' game against Boston Saturday would go to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

"Yunel will participate in an outreach initiative to help educate society about sensitivity and tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation," the team said in the release. "His participation will be conducted in consultation with all parties involved. Escobar will also participate in a sensitivity training program in accordance with the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball.

"The Blue Jays want to reaffirm that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. The club looks forward to supporting the efforts of You Can Play and GLAAD to help promote education for players and fans alike and to help keep language like this out of the game and society."

Escobar is hitting .251 with nine home runs and 49 RBI in 132 games this season.

A season ticket fan with seats near the dugout snapped the picture of the Cuban shortstop during the game but didn't make it public until Monday, the Toronto Star reported.

The photo shows the Spanish phrase "TU ERE MARACON" written on the black strips used to minimize glare.

Five online translation sites seen by UPI said it means "You are a faggot," with one saying an alternate is "You are queer."

Escobar didn't play Sunday, citing "flu-like" symptoms.

Escobar hadn't made public statements about the message.

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