Yesterday afternoon, it was revealed that Yunel Escobar wore eye black for a Saturday afternoon game that was decorated with the words, “TU ERE MARICON.” Since then, there has been much discussion over the translation, context and meaning of the phrase, which has ranged from the obscene hatred of ”You’re a faggot” to the trash-talking humor of “You’re a weakling.” About the only thing for certain is that there’s a negative connotation to the phrase, meant to describe inferiority.
While Escobar himself might suggest that the meaning he meant to convey with the writing below his eyes was something along the less offensive lines, it should be noted that this isn’t the first time that the shortstop has adorned his eye black with something offensive having to do with sexuality.
According to Out Sports, Escobar wore eye black during an August 29th game in New York that had the following lettering: “K PINGA NO,” which, assuming the “K” is short for “que,” would translate to something along the lines of “that no dick.” Que Pinga is also a Cuban slang term that means, “What the fuck?”
While we await to hear Escobar’s explanation for this past weekend’s misstep, I find it difficult to grasp any mitigating circumstances that could lead to a no-harm-no-foul dismissal of his actions. Before this latest discovery, those willing to accept that the language Escobar used on Saturday wasn’t directly offensive to homosexuals, would have a hard time persuading me that even if the shortstop’s intentions weren’t rooted in homophobia, he wasn’t aware of the connotations of what was written on his eye black.
This, to me, isn’t something that’s easily forgivable, and it’s certainly not something that should be quickly forgotten by Blue Jays fans, the Blue Jays franchise or Major League Baseball.