|Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar has been suspended three games for wearing this message on his eye-black patches. (Getty Images)|
The Blue Jays, in accordance with MLB and the Players Association, have suspended shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games. The disciplinary action stems from a gay slur, written in Spanish, that appeared on Escobar's eye-black patches he wore during a recent game. Escobar will begin serving the suspension Tuesday night.
The statement from the Blue Jays reads in part:
"The suspension is the result of his decision to display an unacceptable message while participating in a Major League Game.
The salary lost by Yunel Escobar during his suspension will be directed by the Toronto Blue Jays to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Yunel will participate in an outreach initiative to help educate society about sensitivity and tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation. His participation will be conducted in consultation with all parties involved. Escobar will also participate in a sensitivity training program in accordance with the Toronto 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."
During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Escobar said through an interpreter, "I agree with the suspension. I don't have any problem with that. I'm sorry for my actions the other day. I don't have anything against homosexuals. I have friends who are gay."
Commissioner Bud Selig also released a statement:
"I consistently say that Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities and that I expect those who represent Major League Baseball to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that the game's diverse fan base deserves. Mr. Escobar has admitted that his actions were a mistake and I am hopeful he can use this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to educate himself and others that intolerance has no place in our game or society."
Escobar, 29, is batting .251/.295/.346 this season.