Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Eye Black Black Eye

Yunel Escobar did a bad thing. He shouldn’t be writing anything on his eye blacks, let alone something offensive.  Nothing should be written on his eye black because he isn’t 12 years old. Whether he meant to be offensive or not, Yunel Escobar did a wrong thing. He should be punished. He should be punished for longer than three games.  Seven would be a good start.

Watching the press conference it became clear that Yunel Escobar is a bit clueless. Forget a bit. He’s very clueless.  And perplexed. 

I believed him when he said that he meant it as a joke, that he didn’t mean to offend anyone and that his hair dresser is gay (sigh.) I think the problem is that the word got tossed around so much that it becomes meaningless. It’s wrong that it has become meaningless, but it has. It’s a bit mind blowing that John Farrell never noticed what Escobar had written on his face, but he sure as hell is going to notice now. It’s a very ugly situation.

Gregg Zaun, talking to PrimeTime Sports, said that this betrays a certain lack of discipline that seems to be a problem for this team. Moises Sierra not using flip down sunglasses after losing multiple balls in the sun or Brett Lawrie’s baserunning gaffes were the prime examples.  Lawrie running from second on a ball hit in front of him was alarmingly bad. Like, you get benched in Little League for doing that. 

Obviously what Yunel Escobar did goes beyond mere stupidity, but I want to believe that this is an opportunity for the Jays to become more involved in the LGBT community of Toronto. Change doesn’t come when the ignorant get shunned. People can learn.  Maybe Escobar has played his last game in a Jays uniform, but I would prefer it if he stayed and this incident becomes a catalyst in making pro sports less homophobic. That Escobar becomes known as the one who changed.

John Lott, as per usual, had a great take on the press conference and the team's reaction. Ozzie Guillen's comment is both extremely wise and rather insane.“In my house we call that word every 20 seconds,” he  said Tuesday, as reported by the Associated Press. “I’ve got three kids. For us it’s like, ‘What’s up bro? What’s up dude?’ It’s how you say it and to who you say it. “But that’s our country. We have to respect this country. Sometimes for us it’s funny, for other people it’s not.” 

 Carlos Villanueva, Omar Vizquel and JP Arencibia were questioned about the situation. The most controversial were Vizquel's comments, but I think it just further illustrates how prevalent to the point of meaninglessness the word has become, thus further illustrating the problem.

Carlos Villanueva's comments, in addition to his comments about education, just solidifies my desire for this dude to be a member of the Blue Jays in the future. Someone this thoughtful is clearly needed to counteract the some of the more clueless elements.

Learn more about You Can Play here. Donate if you like, even if you haven’t written something hateful on your eye black.

James_in_TO deserves a lot of credit for being brave enough to bring this to light. Stop shooting the messenger, people. He did nothing wrong. He can take pictures and publish what he wants. 

Shout out also to Drew Fairservice for being the paragon of calm logic when I spent the afternoon chatting with him. 

Anybody else wish they were just eating bbq and drinking beer in the clubhouse pre-game?

1 comment:

  1. Does any of this excuse Alex Anthopoulos for throwing his player to the wolves and essentially inciting fans to boo Escobar the next time he shows up at the stadium? What player in his right mind would want to play for such an organization?