Baseball Is a Job, So Fire Escobar

Posted By: Ryan Doyle · 9/19/2012 5:13:00 PM

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?
Would you be able to get away with a simple apology?  What if you told the boss that you didn’t mean to be offensive, and that some of your friends are gay?
The answer in most sane, rationale workplaces would be simple: you would be canned, fired, terminated. However, the world of major league sports has none of the aforementioned qualities.
Enter Yunel Escobar, the 29-year-old shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays.
During Saturday’s game against the Boston Redsox, Escobar took to the field with the words “TU ERE MARICON” — Spanish for “You’re a faggot” — printed brazenly on the black tape below his eyes.
Two days passed, and pictures of Escobar’s tasteless under-eye-wear hit media outlets, circulated throughout social media, and public outrage ensued.
Late Monday, the Jays realized that they had no choice but to react and called a press conference for Tuesday afternoon.
This is where I figured a swift and just punishment would be meted out on Mr. Escobar. Surely this was a team and a league that would speak out strongly against these deplorable words and ignorant actions.
I was wrong.
What the public got instead was a vague explanation from Mr. Escobar as to why he decided to wear the message on the field.
“I don’t have anything against homosexuals,” he explained, “I have friends who are gay.” A common cliché that most homophobes and bigots cling to when they let their true feelings slip out.
But Escobar's words didn't "slip out". They were loud and proud (pardon the irony), and written all over his face. Not proverbially, quite literally.
So what meaning did these word, and one word in particular, have to him?
“It’s just been said around amongst the Latinos. It’s not something that’s meant to be offensive. For us, it didn’t have the significance in the way that’s being interpreted…It’s a word without meaning.”
Let me get this straight, you took a word that means absolutely nothing to you, put it on your FACE, went in front of fans, and thousands of people watching on television?
After their shortstop finished rambling off meaningless clichés and empty promises, the Jays brass announced that his punishment would be a three game suspension and a loss of pay for the games he would miss.

Three games? For offending every homosexual watching at home, for making the young person in the stands that is struggling with his or her sexuality sink deeper in their seat with shame? For telling every athlete out there that even in 2012 you shouldn’t feel comfortable coming out of the closet?
They should be ashamed of themselves. This is a huge black eye for the team and the league as a whole.
With a slap on the wrist punishments like this, the four major sports leagues will continue to look like an old boys club, pushing homosexuality as far away from their teams as possible instead of understanding that many of their players are gay and want nothing more than to come out.
With that being said, I encourage every sports fan, Jays fan especially, to do something to fight back.
To do something unprecedented.
I encourage anyone holding a home game ticket for the Toronto Blue Jays from September 28th-September 30th to rip it up. Get rid of it. Burn it if it makes you feel better.
Why don't we serve up this team a three-game-suspension from the fans? Let them know that bigotry, homophobia, racism and intolerance isn't a "cultural misunderstanding" and the fine print under Mr. Escobar's eyes has meaning and consequence.
Silence on such an important issue, should be met with silent, empty stands. Baseball is a game, but baseball is also a job and a responsibility, and a symbol for how far we have come.
Is this how far we've come? I'd like to aim higher.

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  1. Nathaniel Adie posted on 09/19/2012 07:27 PM
    Ryan Doyle:
    I said this to you on your radio show yesterday and, I said it to Mike Bullard on his radio show today. Four of CFRB 1010's hosts and many phone guests have said this word on live radio now.

    Condemning the use of this word while using it over and over again. On live radio and in print.

    In context or not, I just don't see how that works.

    If you disagree with the use of the word. Then refer to it without saying it. Like you would for the N-word or an F-bomb.

    Saying it over and over yet taking a stance against it doesn't add up for me.

    I really want to be able to listen to your radio station without hearing things like that.
    Please help put a stop to using that word.

    Thank you,
    Nathaniel Adie
    1. Keith M posted on 09/19/2012 10:15 PM
      @Nathaniel Adie Or you could just grow a pair and stop pushing for political correctness. News commentators using "the word" should not bother anyone.
  2. MichaelP posted on 09/20/2012 12:34 PM
    Escobar Is an Asset, So Firing Him Would be Stupid.

    He won't be here in 2013. But they'll get something for him in the off season. Cutting him makes little sense. The club gains nothing by "firing him". Actually firing him would mean paying him 5 million dollars for 2013 (his guaranteed salary) and watching him sign with someone else. What gets accomplished by doing this?

  3. StuG posted on 09/20/2012 01:12 PM
    Mr. Doyle in my opinion is way way over reacting.
    Harsh life of reality is most people make cracks/jokes/comments towards some group/religion/race whatever all the time. just the way it is and the way it's always going to be...lighten up friendly fire duo.
  4. Vardit posted on 09/20/2012 06:06 PM
    How many times have gay ppl dissed straight people, so what! It's not nice not called for but everyone one does it on both sides of the fence. Let's fire everyone that says something derogatory about someone else...No one would work!
  5. Ronaldo posted on 09/22/2012 09:17 AM
    Escobar was way out of line and will be dumped by the team before next season. But, as usual, Ryan Doyle has over reacted. He and Jerry Agar are always outraged about something. Their rants have long ago become tedious. I switch off the radio whenever either one of them comes on.
  6. Mike posted on 10/23/2012 11:22 AM
    "For offending every homosexual watching at home, for making the young person in the stands that is struggling with his or her sexuality sink deeper in their seat with shame"

    Am I listening to Justin Trudeau here? Ryan you are such a drama queen...... sorry is that a homosexual slur? Did I offend all the Queens in the stands too? Gays are not as thin skinned as you are. Stop overreacting, you are better than that. If you can read Escobar's eye black from deep in your seat, well hats off to you, but be honest in your reporting because unless you looked right into his eyes, you could not read it.
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