Last week, Toronto Blue Jays player Yunel Escobar came out to play a game with a Spanish phrase painted in white over his eye black. The phrase, when translated, is widely interpreted as being an anti-gay slur. As a result, he was suspended for three games.
The interesting part is that there is now a debate over whether his suspension was too excessive, or not excessive enough. The Huffington Post has done a segment debating this issue here.
Apparently, while the phrase does come across as homophobic, it is also a very common phrase to be heard behind the scenes in major league sports.
Ultimately, though, as a high-profile sports player (who many kids in Canada look up to), I think you should be held to a higher standard of behaviour. I think that this suspension probably was not long enough - Brett Lawrie was suspended for four games for accidentally throwing down his helmet and it bouncing up and hitting the umpire. Are these two acts equal? I really don't think so. One was most likely an accident (who could intentionally get a helmet to bounce a certain way to hit someone?), while Escobar's was completely deliberate. Although, I won't get into Brett Lawrie here...
I should note that Escobar has apologized and is also taking part in community service that is aimed to promote "tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation."