Today, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that shortstop Yunel Escobar will work with GLAAD and the You Can Play project, after he was seen with an anti-gay slur written in Spanish on his eye-black over the weekend. The team also announced that Escobar will serve a three-day suspension. GLAAD has been in conversations throughout the day with the team and with Major League Baseball (MLB) about the incident.
"Today's actions show that MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays are committed to creating an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where discriminatory language and anti-gay attitudes are accepted," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
The Blue Jays released a statement last night, saying the team "(does) not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game." In announcing Escobar's suspension and intent to work with GLAAD and You Can Play, the team today stated "The Blue Jays want to reaffirm that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. The club looks forward to supporting the efforts of You Can Play and GLAAD to help promote education for players and fans alike and to help keep language like this out of the game and society."
Last year, through our relationship with MLB, GLAAD sent a list of recommendations and suggestions to each of the teams who participated in the It Gets Better project. In 2010 we also worked with the New York Yankees on a zero-tolerance policy for anti-gay discrimination in the stands.