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Duly Quoted: Yunel Escobar

Blue Jays shortstop apologizes for writing a homophobic slur in his eyeblack as the club imposes a three-game suspension.

“I ask apologies from the fans and the Blue Jays… It was not intended to be offensive, nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular… I don’t have anything against homosexuals, I have friends who are gay… I didn’t mean this to be misinterpreted by the gay community. I apologize.”

—Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar, via a translator, at a press conference this afternoon. Escobar was addressing a public outcry over a message he wrote in his eyeblack for Saturday’s game; the message read “Tu ere maricon,” which is most frequently translated as “You are a faggot.” Escobar will face a three-game suspension for his actions. The money for the time he will miss, said general manager John Farrell at the same press conference, will go to You Can Play, an organization which tackles homophobia in sports culture.

Farrell was asked why none of Escobar’s teammates raised concerns about the message; he replied that Escobar often writes messages in his eyeblack, that the writing is small, and that none of them therefore noticed anything amiss. “Is homophobia a problem in major league locker rooms?” another reporter asked. “I don’t believe so,” Farrell said.

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