Yunel Escobar is in hot water again. This time he’s accused of using a homophobic slur written in white in the eye black he used during a game against Boston. The message, written in Spanish, is “tu ere maricon”. When translated one possible meaning is “You are a faggot”.
There are other possible translations, according to Cathal Kelly of thestar.com. In an interview, University of Toronto Spanish professor Maria Cristina Cuervo said
“It is derogatory, but it’s not necessarily homophobic,”.
Yes, it can mean ‘You are a faggot’. But according to Cuervo, context is everything. The word is a derivation of the proper name Maria del Carmen. The diminutive form of that name has morphed into an effeminizing epithet that has a clear gender component, but not necessarily a sexual one.
“I would take it as, ‘You are like a girl. You’re weak’,” Cuervo said. “I don’t curse much, so I don’t know the appropriate level in English. It has to be something like ‘wuss’.”
Whether Yunel Escobar was “trash talking” or making a slur is unclear. What is clear is that his actions are unprofessional and need to be addressed.
Escobar also found trouble during his time in Atlanta, which was a factor in his departure. Blue Jays team officials are investigating and will deliver a statement this afternoon before the series opener against the New York Yankees.
*UPDATE* Yunel Escobar has been handed a three game suspension from Major League Baseball.