Former Atlanta Braves' shortstop and current member of the Toronto Blue Jays has been suspended three games by Major League Baseball. The controversy with Escobar began Saturday when he wore eye black with a message written in Spanish. When pictures of the message were posted online, it was found that he was making a homophobic slur.
This is just another situation involving the young shortstop that makes me glad he was traded away from the Braves in 2010. The 29-year-old seemed to have a problem with his maturity level during his stay with the Braves and found his exit for clashing with the Braves legendary former manager, Bobby Cox. Escobar, a native of Cuba, has tremendous talent on the baseball field, but he will never be looked at seriously until he grows up a bit.
He tried to write off the message saying it was "just a joke," which continues to make me think he won't ever realize when he is in the wrong. The only good thing that comes from this is that the money that Escobar is forfeiting because of the suspension is being donated to GLAAD and the You Can Play Project.
After likely speaking to someone in the Blue Jays' PR office, Escobar released a statement saying, "I agree with the suspension. I don't have any problem with that. I'm embarrassed. I'm sorry for my actions of the other day. I don't have anything against homosexuals. I have friends who are gay."
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig released a statement saying, "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."
As I said, this isn't the first time Escobar has proven to be immature on or off the field. Hopefully, with this suspension, he will realize that he needs to grow as a person and be a role model for those fans that follow his every move. If he can't do that, this will just be another problem in a long line of problems.
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Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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