Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar has been suspended for three games for wearing eye-black displaying a homophobic slur written in Spanish during a Sept. 15 game against the Red Sox.
Pictures posted online show Escobar with the message – translated it means "you are a faggot" – written in his eye-black, a sticker players wear under their eyes to reduce glare from the sun. The slur did not appear to be directed at any person in particular.
"The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter," the Blue Jays said in a statement Sept. 17, adding they "do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday's game."
This afternoon, Escobar apologized during an appearance with general manager Alex Anthopoulos, manager John Farrell and coach Luis Rivera at Yankee Stadium.
“I’m sorry for (my) actions. It was not something I intended to be offensive,” Escobar said in Spanish during a news conference.
He also said, "I have nothing against homosexuals. I have friends who are gay. I’m sorry for what happened and I can guarantee that this will not happen again in my career… I didn’t mean for this to be misinterpreted by the gay community."
The salary that Escobar will lose during the suspension will be donated to the You Can Play campaign against homophobia in sports and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, according to a statement from the team.
Also, Escobar will be required to participate in sensitivity training.
Major League Baseball is still reviewing the incident.