When pro sports players are on the field, they should know that all eyes are on them. This notion is what makes a Toronto Blue Jays player’s recent move so idiotic. Yunel Escobar showed up on the field this week wearing a message on his eye black. Though the message was in Spanish, the Spanish to English translation read as a homophobic Spanish slur that loosely translates to “faggot.” He wore the message in a televised game against the Boston Red Sox. The Toronto Blue Jays are not the most popular team in the MLB, but they are certainly being watched by people all over the country, and there’s a good chance many of those people speak Spanish.
Escobar Claims the Message Was Lost in Translation
Escobar’s cheeks read “tu ere maricon” at Saturday’s game, which all this controversy over this Spanish slur originated. While some people are saying the sentence wasn’t even structured correctly to mean anything in particular, Escobar says that the Spanish slur is “without meaning” when it’s in its original language. He claimed it depends on how you’re saying it and whom you’re saying it to. Of course, this defense might have worked if he had said it out loud, but it’s difficult to reap the context of a Spanish translation when it’s scrawled on someone’s cheeks. Either way, the MLB player should have known that the league doesn’t take homophobic, Spanish slurs lightly, so to even walk the line of translation is a dangerous mistake.
The Athlete Should Have Known Better
Yunel Escobar was from Cuba originally, so he should have known better than to throw the Spanish slur “maricon” around in public. In the early 1960’s, the word sparked a fatal fight between two boxers. Emile Griffith was on one side of the ring, and at the time, there were rumors floating around that he was homosexual. On the other side of the ring was Cuban fighter Benny (Kid) Paret. In the second of three fights, the Cuban fighter called Emile a maricon twice, and Griffith didn’t need a Spanish translator to hear it loud and clear. In the third round, Griffith beat his opponent so badly that he died.
Escobar has been suspended from the MLB without pay for three games, and his reputation is marred forever. Whether or not your fans will need a Spanish to English translator to understand, making a homophobic remark as a professional athlete will get you into serious trouble.