The Meaning of “Tu Ere Maricon”

Chip explains his feelings on Yunel Escobar's recent use of a homophobic slur.

'Yunel Escobar' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Tu ere maricon.

Until a couple of days ago, I had no idea what those words meant.  In middle school and high school, I didn’t take Spanish.  The town I grew up in had large Swedish and Italian populations, plus a growing Puerto Rican population.  Given the number of Spanish speaking classmates I had growing up, it probably would have made quite a bit of sense to take Spanish, but I didn’t.  I chose to take French instead.  I’m not sure why I chose one language over the other, but for some subjective reason of which I’m no longer aware; I did it anyway.  I’ll just chalk it up to me wanting to go against the grain of my peers.  In hindsight, it was a pretty boneheaded move.  I wasted six years taking a language I will never use.  At this point, the only phrases I can remember are “Je suis Batman,” and “Ou est la bibliotheque?”  Ah, yes.  That was time well spent…

I’ve been a fan of baseball as long as I can remember.  Seeing players wear eye black is something I’m used to, and often don’t think twice about seeing it.  In recent years, players have moved away from traditional eye black, and moved to the eye black stickers.  I’m not a huge fan of the stickers, but I understand why so many have switched.  Clean up is easier, it doesn’t run, and you can personalize it.  Players in all sports have found clever ways to put meaningful religious phrases, or messages to loved ones on them.  It’s become so common that we don’t even notice what’s written on them anymore.  It’s almost expected, and we’ve become numb to it.  If a player writes something in a foreign language on his eye black stickers, forget about it.  We won’t even think twice.

That is, of course, until recently.

Yunel Escobar’s decision to write an offensive homophobic slur on his eye black stickers changes an awful lot for me in terms of baseball watching.  I’ll no longer be able to watch a baseball event, notice writing on a player’s eye black, and not wonder what it means.  Is there a nefarious political meaning behind that biblical passage he’s citing?  What is the translation of that phrase?  Questions will continue to abound for me.  Perhaps that seems crazy to you; paranoid even.  You could be right.  Maybe you’ll notice a greater awareness for these things for a short period of time before eventually moving on.  Please understand that I can’t.

As many of you already know through your interactions with me either personally or on Twitter, I’m gay.  To those of you who didn’t know until now…well, now you do.  Hopefully, that won’t cause you to stop reading this site.  If it does, that’s your problem and not mine. To get you to understand how this affects me, I’ll have to get personal.  I need you to understand me because only then will you understand the effect Escobar’s actions had on me.

My friends would likely classify me as a masculine guy.  Some have called me a “guy’s guy.”  I love baseball (along with several other sports), weight lifting, eating ethnic foods, making crass/inappropriate jokes, and drinking really good beer.*  I enjoy making jokes at my own expense, and I’m rarely offended by the comments of others.  For instance, many people on Twitter know of my long, undying love for Dan Uggla to the point where someone has actually created a fake Twitter account–@DanUgglasArms–that is designed to stalk and tease me about my hard core crush on the Braves second baseman.  Rather than get irritated about it, I play along.  I send it joking love notes ever so often.  Life is too short to take things too seriously.

* For those of you wondering, I’m drinking Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout as I write this.  It’s delicious.  

Unlike a lot of masculine gay guys, being masculine isn’t something I take pride in.  It’s just who I am.  I feel like I’d be just as happy being less traditionally masculine if that’s who I truly was.  While I don’t advertise my sexual orientation, I certainly don’t hide from it.  I don’t allow it to define me, but still, I embrace it.  To me, being gay is only one part of me.  I don’t consider myself to be a gay man; but instead, a man who happens to be gay.   I can’t change who I am.

Throughout high school and most of college, I suspected that I might be gay.  I was absolutely terrified about being found out, so I chose to ignore it out of fear.  I chalked it up to being nothing more than a passing phase.  It wasn’t, but allowed me to live my life “normally”–or what I thought was normal.  Despite my suspicions, I “dated” (if you could call it that) a few girls in high school, and that continued into college.  In my third year in college, I met a great girl.  We started seeing each other, and connected pretty strongly.  It wasn’t long before our relationship became serious.

For the first few years our relationship was very rewarding.  We loved and cared for each other very deeply, and seemed to compliment each other very well.  Sometime during year four, things changed once I slowly started to figure out my sexual identity.  It was a very confusing time for me.  I tried to deny it, but I couldn’t.   I became depressed and ashamed, and started neglecting my relationship.  By year five, we rarely talked unless it was to argue.   As contentious as it was, I couldn’t end it because of what it meant for me personally.  Instead, I forged ahead  After four-and-a-half years, she finally couldn’t take anymore and ended our relationship.  I was both devastated and relieved.  On one hand, she’d freed me of having to tell her something that would certainly break her heart.  On the other hand, I was forced to deal with my demons.

Despite my new found freedom, I chose to spend the next year ignoring my sexuality.  I continued to pretend I was straight.  I didn’t date anyone else, and I made sure everyone knew I wasn’t interested in doing so at that time.  In May 2005 (about a year after my relationship ended), I decided to take a job in the Washington, DC.  I looked at it as a fresh start.  I didn’t know what that would entail, but I was very happy about the direction of my life.  That first summer I spent alone in a new city.  I had no friends, no life outside of my job, and a ton of time to dwell on my feelings.  It was a somewhat dark period for me that resulted in me finally coming out to my two closest friends in August.  Other friends, family, and select co-workers soon followed.

Unlike a lot of people, my coming out process was a piece of cake.  After hearing several horror stories, I realize that I’ve been very lucky.  In a lot of ways, I’m not sure why I waited so long.  No one really seemed to care, although many were surprised.  I did receive a couple of very funny reactions.  My brother jokingly asked, “Does this mean you don’t like baseball anymore?,” and my best friend sarcastically said something along the lines of, “So how long until you start dating a latin pool boy named Paco? I laughed at both of them.  Along the way, no one treated me differently because I never changed.  To them, I was the same Chip I’d always been.  Now, they knew this other part of me I’d always hidden.  With a few people, it actually made our relationships stronger as a result because I didn’t feel like I needed to hold anything back.

Over the next several months, I dated with minimal success.  In May of 2006, I met a tremendous guy, and we started seeing each other.  I fell for him very quickly, as did he fall for me.  Things were very easy and comfortable, and for the first time in my life I finally felt free of my inhibitions.  With him, I didn’t feel as if I needed to hide.

For the first two years we spent every weekend (and as many of our other free moments) together.  Soon after, we moved in with each other, and eventually bought a house together.  For nearly six years, we had an incredibly rewarding relationship.  We supported each other through job changes, personal disputes, deaths in the family, etc.  Despite whatever was going on in our lives, we were always there for each other.

When you’re with someone for six years, you go through a lot of crap together.  You grow a lot, especially during your 20s and early 30s.  You hope to grow together, but sometimes you grow apart.  Sadly, we grew apart.  As difficult it as it was to say goodbye to the man I loved, it was necessary for the both of us to continue growing.  We remain amicable.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to call each other friends someday, but until then it’s a lot of work getting to that point.  Regardless, I’ll never regret a single moment that I was with him.  I learned a lot from him about not only myself, but also love and relationships.  I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am now (and certainly not writing this column) without his support.  For that, I’m grateful.

If you’ve gotten to this far, you might be wondering what my life confessions have to do with Yunel Escobar’s homophobic slur.  While it’s a fair question, the answer is pretty simple:  everything.  In making his remark, which is translated as “You’re a faggot,” he is making a prejudicial judgment on my life.  He is denigrating the life I’ve created; criticizing me for the man I am; claiming homosexuality makes one weak or less than a man; and belittling my (and every other gay man and woman’s) struggles with coming to term with their sexuality and finding a place within society.  While I don’t begrudge him his right to have his own set of beliefs (as much as I disagree with them), I find his actions to be both inappropriate, disgusting, and reprehensible given the public nature in which he displayed them.  It’s bad enough having my personal liberties and rights being debated daily by Presidential, Congressional, state, and local politicians over my right to marry, adopt, or receive equal employment protections under the law.  The last place I would hope or want to see this is on the baseball field, a place I go to escape reality.

Earlier today, Escobar finally offered an explanation for his remarks.  Here’s what he had to say:

“I’m sorry for the actions of the other day … it’s not something I intended to be offensive … it’s just something I put on the sticker on my face … it was nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular.  ‘I have friends who are gay,’ I have nothing against homosexuals … I am sorry what will happen and it will never happen again in my career. It is a lesson I have learned … I didn’t mean for this to be misinterpreted by the gay community. I apologize.”

Oh, thank god.  He has gay friends!  I guess all is fine now.  Phew!

I’m sorry, but his explanation is tantamount to dropping the n-bomb and saying, “No, seriously.  It’s cool.  My black friend and I say it to each other all of the time.”  No really, man.  It’s not cool.  It’s actually disgusting, and you should be ashamed of yourself for saying it.

Furthermore, let’s assume he does actually have gay friends for a second.  How does he feel his gay friends feel about him using the term “faggot” on his eye black?  I can’t imagine they’d be terribly impressed or forgiving of such actions.  Sure, he claims it’s just a “joke,” but if that’s what he considers a joke; his sense of humor is clearly lacking.  I wonder how would he feel if a crowd of people shouted “faggot” every time he came to the plate?  What would his reaction be?  Would it change if the crowd of people claimed they were only “joking?”

Let’s be honest, it’s pretty clear he was neither using the term to signify a cigarette as the Brits do, nor was he using it’s original definition, “a bundle of sticks tied together.”  The statement on his eye black was clear.  His intentions were clear.  His feelings on homosexuality are pretty clear.  Regardless of how widely the phrase is used in latin culture, he chose to use it.  If he really didn’t have an issue with homosexuals, he never would have written that phrase on his eye black.  In fact, he likely wrote it in Spanish because he didn’t think anyone would notice.

Like most apologies for racist, prejudicial, or insensitive remarks, it comes off as hollow.  While it’s possible Escobar is being sincere, I doubt it.  As I mentioned before I sense his actions reflect his belief, although I don’t know for sure.  I’d actually rather he own up to his actions and admit it rather than go through the rigamarole of a fake apology.  I realize it looks good on the surface, but it’s meaningless if sincerity is lacking behind it.  I’d rather hear nothing at all.

Consequently, this brings up another issue:  when will a baseball player finally come out while playing?  The answer to that question is very cloudy at the moment.  While it seems somewhat strange that gay men and women are coming out in droves in all walks of life, including the military, that no one seems willing to step forward as the first among the four major American sports.  A lot of that is the macho American culture, and of course, religion also plays a role.  Furthermore, Escobar’s most recent actions shine a light on a problem that seems more prevalent than ever before.

Despite a growing number of athletes coming out in favor of gay activism and rights campaigns, there are still far too many intolerant people within the sport who disagree with that sentiment.  We’re talking players, coaches, scouts, members of front offices, and fans.  It will be hard enough dealing with the personalities in the clubhouse (many of whom will be hostile), but the media will be all over him.  A spotlight like no other will be shining on him at all times.  The first time he’s seen out with a man, TMZ will be there.  If his boyfriend is caught kissing another man in the park, ET will report it in seconds.  All semblance of privacy and decency will be gone.  Hell, imagine the first time the first openly gay baseball player steps into the batters box in a crucial situation in a particularly hostile environment.  It will be brutal.  The term “faggot” might actually be one of the more pleasant things he hears thrown at him.

If you want to know why we haven’t seen a gay Jackie Robinson, this is why.  Pressure, prejudice, malicious threats.  It’s a brutal road to walk.  Many consider closeted players to be cowards.  Perhaps, but who can really blame them.  When players like Escobar are cryptically spreading homophobic slurs, I can’t imagine many feel comfortable coming out to even their closest friends on their team.

I don’t want it to seem like I’m saying Escobar is *the* problem.  He’s not, but he’s definitely a symptom of a larger problem.  We place too much focus on sexuality and the erroneous and overblown stereotypes associated with homosexuals like myself.  We’re really no different than our heterosexual brethren.  Until we learn to move past these forms of prejudice, we’ll continue to deal with situations such as this one.  It’s sad state of affairs.  Hopefully, baseball and it’s players will learn from Escobar’s mistake, so this doesn’t have to happen again.

Yes, the words “Tu ere maricon” are just words.  And yes, we give meaning to these words.  Still, the clear malicious intent and emotion behind Escobar’s words are what make this situation so hurtful and offensive.  This situation isn’t about sexual orientation, or even sex in general.  This is about life, and the intolerance people have for the life I’ve created.  I’m happy with who I am, and it’s taken me a long time to get to this place.  I’m not going to let someone like Yunel Escobar make me feel otherwise.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Toronto Blue Jays Yunel Escobar

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

103 Responses to “The Meaning of “Tu Ere Maricon”” Subscribe

  1. Megan Shear September 19, 2012 at 7:56 AM #

    Excellent. Thank you.

  2. Seriously September 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM #

    Talk about blowing things out of proportion. Relax Chip. People are so god damn sensitive these days.

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:14 AM #

      Really dude?

    • Andrew Quinn September 19, 2012 at 1:02 PM #

      Chip great write up… I never heard about this website before but after reading the above article you can say you gained a new reader…Now Mr "Seriously" is a real tough guy to talk like a macho man via the computer, But we all know that most likely he is lacking in some sort of area in his life that the only way to make himself feel good about himself is to go on line and post in the comment section of a on line article. so keep up the good work Mr "Seriously" . Not only will anyone who see this post think you are an completely foo but the idea of you being a fat slob who lives in your parents basement makes me feel 10 times better about my life….. Enjoy the pizza rolls your mother makes for you…

    • Ari September 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM #

      Seriously — if it was you, you wouldn't appreciate it either. Don't accuse people of blowing things out of proportion when it is, in fact, deserving of the harsh criticism that Chip duly gives it.

  3. guest September 19, 2012 at 9:03 AM #

    Ahh yeah, its not a biblical passage but thanks for throwing the Bible and Christians under the bus. Go suck a dick loser. Fucking faggot

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:16 AM #

      There are a couple of reasons this comment is hilarious. One, I never said it was a Biblical passage. I referenced that other athletes (like Tim Tebow) write Biblical passages on their eye black stickers. Two, Christians have been throwing homosexuals under the bus for 2000 years. I'm going to file this remark under "Great moments in self-awareness." And by the way, yes I am gay. And happy to be that way.

      Stay classy though.

      • Miss Michelle September 20, 2012 at 9:48 AM #

        As a "trying to be true" Christian and pastor's wife, I can say I certainly didn't think you "threw the Bible and Christians under the bus." It's people who act and react like "guest" who are truly ignorant to what God really requires of us–LOVE.

        I'll always consider you my friend, no matter how distant, and will love you, though not the same way as I did in 8th grade ;)

    • Lolly gagger September 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM #

      LOL…everyone take a chill pill! Chip n dale is just trying to up whatever ratings he may have in his media world and he also thinks people owe his choice of lifestyle or sexual preference some sort of acknowledgement and support..hey Chip hold onto whatever you like at night but be aware that some people have different views on what is normal. Learn to turn the other cheek…oops no pun intend…darn i mean…ah the heck with it…grow up:)

    • Hazen September 22, 2012 at 6:45 PM #

      I understand your point. I think the above person was looking for attention and he got it. As Michelle said the number one commandment as a Christian is to love. What the word says,or odes not say about homosexuality, are a separate issue. It goes back to you can speak against a sin, and I am not hear to debate scripture and if this is a sin, and still are commanded to love the sinner. That said your statement of Christians throwing you under the bus for 2000 years sure is a case of selective reasoning on what is or is not offensive. You just grouped an entire religion together and did thrown them under the bus. Not originally but certainly in your response. I mean it isn't something they just came up with. It is not out of hate. Some churches have thrown out that 2000 years and have reevaluated what the bible says. My point is there is room for everyone. How I worship is every bit as important to me I would argue more, than who you sleep with. So if do not want to be offended why offend others? It isn't a black and white issue. Well it is from both sides but neither side should use hate. I love these facebook posts I see all the time with the westside baptist church holding up hateful signs. The post goes on to defend their side of the issue and say don't hate like Christians. It is so ironic. They try to make a point about mean spirited people by being mean spirited. I found it funny I had to go on a journey, that lead me here, just to find out what the homophobic slur was. You are correct in comparing it to the use of the "N" word. It is hateful and we should teach our children that it is. Do you think the guest above is a Christian? If he is he sure doesn't spend much time reading the word. Be blessed Chip.

  4. Irony September 19, 2012 at 9:07 AM #

    Escobar's slur was unacceptable, and his punishment was well deserved. However, I find the "Latin pool boy named Paco" reference just as troubling. I am sure Escobar, like many latinos, has had to deal with such condescension on many occasions, so it's a shame to see the reference in a thoughtful post about how painful such words can be. Was your best friend "only joking", or were his comments rooted in stereotypical ignorance? I would never judge someone I don't now, so, maybe Escobar deserves the same benefit of the doubt?

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:19 AM #

      I wasn't making a remark about latins at all, nor was he. I definitely understand the point you're trying to make. In a lot of ways it's valid. Still, I think you're taking a pretty big leap here. Escobar's situation was pretty overt. There's no mistaking his use of the term.

    • More Irony September 19, 2012 at 10:23 AM #

      "Like many Latinos"? How dare you, sir. How can you generalize the Latin community in such a manner. Your words are just as hurtful as Chip's statements concerning the hurtfulness of Escobar's eyeblack. Shame on you!

      • Irony September 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM #

        As a latino, I can vouch for what it's like to hear your race generalized as "the help". Apparently, you've never experienced what that's like, but sadly, that didn't stop you from expressing your ignorance.

        As for the comparison being a leap, I am not sure why you think there is a distinction. After all, why was the pool boy named Paco? Was "pool boy" not sufficient to make the point?

    • Hazen September 22, 2012 at 6:48 PM #

      It is all in what you deem okay. If it hits home to you then of course it is worse. Wasn't making a reference to Latins? Paco? So a white man came to mind when he said Paco? There is no mistaking the pool boy named Pacoi either. Test it out. Ask ten random people to describe what your pool boy Paco looks like site unseen.

      • Me again September 22, 2012 at 6:59 PM #

        and I didn't even hit on the "help" part. They are not asking you is it comparable. They are telling you it is. How does the left get to define what is and isn't okay. What is hate and what is not hate. This kind of reminds me of the man berating the poor chik-fil-a girl. Where did politics come up? The hypocrisy. Chip can tell a Latin that they are making a great leap. He understands what they struggled with. They don't understand what he struggled with. How about we live and let live? I'm positive we agree their Chip. I agree the apology was pretty lame. When you have to say "I have gay friends" then you have put yourself in a position you shouldn't be in. You may have them but they are not to use as a defense. I see so many sides to this complex issue. Just can't get over how you grouped a whole religion together, said what their Lord teaches is throwing you under the bus, then went on to tell Latins that you understand better than they do if the remarks are equal.

        • Why again? September 22, 2012 at 7:02 PM #

          and there, their ,commas , and lots of other mistakes were made. I typed fast and never edit. I want to head that off because usually it goes straight to that. Why debate with a person who incorrectly used their? He doesn't know the difference between your and you're lets move on to civilized people.

    • guest January 1, 2013 at 11:19 PM #

      In Spanish can be a teasing word,like chicken,it dosent translate ti queer,it is like the word negro that in many countries is a love word or implies hard work.
      This thin skin only is for gays and blacks? Hay que ser mas machito.

  5. dbrunell September 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM #

    Well said.

  6. Anonymous September 19, 2012 at 9:25 AM #

    Maricon is a sissy or a crybaby…. little to do with homosexuals…

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo September 19, 2012 at 10:16 AM #

      I think the issue is that the sissy/crybaby connotation is attached to the idea of a homosexual. That implication is the root of the problem.

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM #

      It's a term commonly used for homosexuals. In fact, Escobar admits as much in his own statement.

    • HechePipe September 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM #

      From every Spanish-speaking ethnicity that I came into contact with in the Army, the word "maricon" in Puerto Rican, Mexican and Columbian dialects, by all accounts, means "faggot." From the mouths of people who use Spanish as a first language, it is a derogatory term for 'homosexual.'

  7. dtr September 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM #

    And the pussification of america continues. get over it. move on.

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM #

      Yes, the pussification of America. I'm rarely offended by ANYTHING. If I'm irritated about something like this, it's probably worth discussing. Prejudice is never cool.

      Also, I'll get over it once I have equal rights. Until then, you're going to have to deal with it.

      • Guest September 20, 2012 at 11:22 PM #

        Lets hope u never get equal rights!

  8. Opinionated Guest September 19, 2012 at 9:35 AM #

    "We place too much focus on sexuality and the erroneous and overblown stereotypes associated with homosexuals like myself." Maybe the attention and overblown stereotypes are a result of the in your face attitude from some homosexuals in the attempt to be accepted. I don't understand if you are so secure and sure in your identity as a gay masculine man, why does what someone writes on their face gets you so upset. If you are so sure that you are fine, why does someone's opinion matter to you?

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM #

      How does my security in my masculinity have anything to do with being offended. Escobar used a derogatory term that is commonly towards all homosexuals–not just toward one faction of the group.

      Additionally, I'm hardly an activist. I don't take part in pro-gay rallies. I don't participate in gay pride events. I don't belong to any part of the so-called gay scene. I wrote this piece because sometimes you can't idly sit by and do nothing.

      • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:42 AM #

        Who said I was trying to be MLK or Harvey Milk? Please. I'm so far from a gay activist. This is the one time I've ever made any sort of public comment on the subject, and I likely never will again.

        Furthermore, I never said I was a great sports writer. I have no illusions to that fact. That said, I'm the "mediocre sports writer," and you're the one commenting on the article and levying insults. I have no problem with you commenting on this article, and you are definitely entitled to your opinion. Still, it's a lot easier to criticize others when you're putting anything worth reading out there.

        Also, keep in mind that this mediocre sports writer was linked to by NBC Hardball talk and has been linked to by ESPN a number of times. Maybe I'm a little better than mediocre. How about slightly above average. I'm not bragging. I'm just saying. Either way, I'm clearly a better sports writer than you…

        • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM #

          1. Oops, typos are my flaw. Oh, well. I wrote this pretty late last night, and was way too tired to proof read it. I guess I should probably be shot. I'm not a real journalist. I have no desire to be a real journalist. I'm totally missing your point. I do this for fun–for free.

          2. You don't feel the need to express every opinion to strangers? Lol. What do you think you're doing right now?

          3. I'm glad you're pro-marriage equality and pro-freedom of expression. I am as well. Yet, I'm freely expressing myself, and you're telling me I shouldn't be doing so. I guess those law school books can't teach you everything about logic.

        • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM #

          4. I'm not depressed about this. I think it's sad. Furthermore, I think it's sad that you feel it's necessary to attack me for expressing my feelings on a subject.

          5. Again, you're the one claiming that I'm trying to do something noble. I wrote this for me. Not for you, you pretentious douche bag. You could have chosen to say nothing, but you decided to spend your time sharing your opinions with others…on a blog…which is something you apparently don't do.

          Furthermore, there's an edit button.

    • Mike Voyles September 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM #

      He said that he is fine and secure with himself. There are a lot of homosexuals in this world who are not ok with themselves. Look at all of the young guys and girls who are bullied in school. There are a lot of them who cannot deal with the pressure and take their own lives. The professional players are Idols to many of the youth.They are looked up to. How about these kids who constantly adapt to their idol's way of thinking. They are very impressionable and these high-profile sports stars need to realize it and keep from making it seem as though it is alright to send hate messages to anyone.

      • John May 21, 2013 at 3:51 AM #

        Mike, well said.
        Myself as a heterosexual man who was starting to think in the lines of "this is getting blown a little out of proportion here" ,but now I see your point and realize its not!

    • Meg September 19, 2012 at 2:38 PM #

      A big part of the issue, and what links the fa-word with the n-word and other slurs like it, is the use of a word that denotes one of a person's essential, defining characteristics as an insult. Describing a black person as black is simply a statement of fact, because the word "black" is fairly value-neutral. Describing him as an n-word is considered hate speech because of the word's connotation.

      In mainstream American society, the word "gay" has become a standard insult among young men, to imply that being gay is inherently abhorrent- which is probably why Chip, as he described in this piece, struggled so hard for so long with the realization that he loves men. While using "gay" as an insult is a symptom of how accepted homophobia is in our culture (most of those who use it probably don't hate gay people, but are using the word as a generic insult instead of "stupid," etc), it doesn't carry with it the same connotation as the fa-word- mostly because "gay" can be used as a value-neutral adjective as well. The fa-word, when used to refer to a gay person (rather than a cigarette or a bundle of sticks), doesn't have an alternate connotation based on context; rather, it's an insult directed at one of a person's deepest, most defining characteristics. Based on accounts of how inflammatory the word that Escobar used is among Latin men, I assume it carries similar connotations.

      Neither the fa- word nor its Spanish counterpart have any place in a professional setting, and MLB and the Blue Jays were absolutely right to take action to establish their position regarding such conduct- just as they did with John Rocker years ago, and I'm sure they have done countless other times.

  9. Anonymous September 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM #

    Well said. You, sir, are exemplary.

  10. Anonymous September 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM #

    Thank you for writing this.

  11. Jays fan janis September 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM #

    Well written article.Thank you.
    Having said that however, this has been blown out of proportion in the name of political correctness.
    I can't imagine what athletes call each other in the locker room.

  12. ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM #

    Um…why are you here? Did you even read the article? Or did you make a judgment based on the small snippet you saw on HBT and are now here to troll? Seriously dude. If anyone needs to chill the fuck out, it's you. For someone who doesn't care, you certainly seem to be spending an awful lot of time commenting on an argument you find to be garbage.

  13. williamjtasker September 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM #

    The responses here are amazing. Gosh, we have a long way to go as a class of species. I support you, Chip and am glad you wrote this.

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM #

      Thanks William!

  14. Anonymous September 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM #

    Talk about placing "too much focus." This is exactly the symptom of the larger problem right here. The problem is a hyper-sensitivity to any comment that even smells slightly offensive. If Escobar wants to make bigoted remarks, then fine. Let him. I'm a Christian and I am constantly reading articles and blog posts by people soundly condemning my religion and everything I stand for and believe in as a person. It's OK – that's their opinion, and while I find their remarks hateful and un-informed, I'll die to make sure they continue to have the freedom to make those remarks. If our basic freedom to express who we are should be protected, why not our freedom to express what we do and do not like? I agree with you that it was a tasteless thing to do, but I have to temper that with the realization that in order to experience true freedom we can't be shackled by the fear that someone may be offended by our thoughts or actions. DTR really hit the nail on the head, it truly is the 'pussification' of America and it's a sad thing to behold. I hope that someday we'll all have the basic freedom to be who we are without having to be told by other people that we are wrong for believing what we believe, saying what we say and doing what we do.

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM #

      I never said this had anything to do with religion. If you can tell me where I blamed religion, please let me know. This has nothing to do with Christianity.

      As to your assertion on freedom of expression, here's what I had to say about Escobar's remarks:

      "While I don’t begrudge him his right to have his own set of beliefs (as much as I disagree with them), I find his actions to be inappropriate, disgusting, and reprehensible given the public nature in which he displayed them."

      He absolutely has the right to believe and express whatever he believes. I fully support that right. That said, his actions and beliefs are ignorant and reprehensible.

      Also, I said this in my article:

      "I don’t want it to seem like I’m saying Escobar is *the* problem. He’s not, but he’s definitely a symptom of a larger problem."

      Still, though. It's nice to see you read the entire article, and didn't make any judgments until you go to the end.

      • boni September 19, 2012 at 11:36 AM #

        Not all speech is protected. I' not sure where the line is drawn, but whether escobar is a bigot or just a juvenile idiot, the public forum in which he displayed his particular brand of idiocy is what complicates the issue. Plenty of people throw around slurs in private for any number of reasons, but those situations are intimate and shades of meaning i.e. humor, sarcasm, hatred, irony etc. can be distilled form the context of the expression. There is no context for this expression. You might as well have a freakin' string of bilboards on the side of the road that say "you are a nigger" "you are a faggot" "you are a cracker" "you are a bitch" "you are a wetback" should I continue? Would that be a successful public relations campaign for anyone? Doubt it. A person can't make a blanket statement using a slur and expect it to be glossed over as a joke. Who is he joking with? Who else is part of the conversation he is having with his face? Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but this kind of thing does make a huge impact on a number of people, including some very confused and in some cases very scared young men and I bet it doesn't do anything to turn them on to baseball as a pastime or intellectual interest. Thanks for writing this Chip, I've never been a big reader of your site, but I really appreciate your piece. Finally, I'm shocked at what I've read in these comments. You deserve better readers, quite frankly. I'm never surprised but always disappointed whenever I'm reminded of the level of ignorance, callousness and stupidity in this great nation of ours. Words always matter!

        • dbrunell September 19, 2012 at 3:43 PM #

          You'll be happy to know this reply isn't insulting or anything, as I find replies usually are. I write to answer the question you pose. I won't go into all the legal detail over this, but suffice it to say that the First Amendment only protects people against the government's interference with speech.

      • Anonymous September 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM #

        I'm not saying that you personally said anything about Christianity, I'm just saying that I hear a lot of negative talk towards Christians and it offends me. However, I feel that those people should have the freedom to say what they want whether or not it offends me.

        I think this is the fundamental problem behind what many people believe is the 'pussifcation' of America. That's not to say that we are weak people or a bunch of crybabies, it's to say that we are so scared that someone might be offended by what we say or do that we are constantly second guessing ourselves and our actions. Then, we take it a step farther and publicly and resoundingly condemn anyone who may have said or done something that may or may not have offended someone else. While I agree we should be cognizant of how we present ourselves, we should be able to do so without fear of retribution.

        And so this is where we diverge. I don't believe Escobar is the symptom of any problem. I think that he should have a right to make a fool of himself in any way that pleases him. I believe, Chip, that you are a symptom of the larger problem which is the huge emphasis we as a society put on offending others. Who cares? Obviously, you do. But really – why? I get what you said up above, although I cannot relate to your experiences I can empathize and understand that you have been through some very tough personal times. But why make a big fuss about it? Why not say to yourself "man, this guy is an idiot" and move on to bigger and better things?

        I just think that we (you and I and everyone else) should look more towards our own actions and be less offended by others. I think the "highly offended" state that many people live in is a state of being brought on by choice, and not by the actions of others. We choose to be upset, we choose to be offended and we choose to make a big commotion over what other people do. Perhaps if we focused that energy into choosing to be true to ourselves, we would have less energy to worry about what Escobar (or you, or I) think about anything in particular.

        We're all guilty of this, even me as I write this. If I cared less about what you said, I'd would have just thought to myself "man, this guy is an idiot" and moved on to bigger and better things :)

        • Anon Believer September 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM #

          Well said, Anonymous. I too am a Christian and after reading Chip's article I just rolled my eyes. It's all touchy feelly, too bad for me in my journey toward wholeness, <gasp>, someone's hurt my feelings, it's really insensitive man, especially after all I've been through. Chip has seemingly come to grips with his attraction to other men but he does not seem to be at all comfortable in his own skin. So one guy who happens to write a blog has hurt feelings, and of course it's a big deal. Boo Hoo, blow your nose and get over it.

          Take a look around, Chip! Did you write anything sympathetic for all the victims of Jerry Sandusky? You want to know hurt feelings? Trying being sexually victimized as a kid and having to live with the fear and the guilt…try coming to grips with your masculinity after that, like I did and like a lot of others have had to do. You think your road was tough? You got a minute? Let me tell you the horrors that I went through.

          Oh wait, you probably can't take the time because it's all about you after all, isn't it? Let me share with you a little lesson I learned a long time ago, Chip: everybody you'll ever meet has baggage and consequently your narcissistic baggage is less important than mine. Just because your baggage has been aired on a blog doesn't make it any heavier than anybody else's.

          • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged September 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM #

            I think everyone here can feel sympathy for what you and others have gone through; however, if you really can't see a difference in the way gay people are treated and victims of sexual abuse are treated, then we can't have a conversation.

            As a victim of sexual abuse, did you ever have to worry about hanging out in a bar with "friends" and them beating you up, tieing you to a post and leaving you for dead like Matthew Shepard was? As a victim of sexual abuse, did you ever have to be concerned with a roommate secretly video taping a sexual encounter of you and broadcasting it to friends to shame you, like the student at Rutgers University (who subsequently killed himself)? As a victim of sexual abuse, do you have to worry about friends or family members not being able to enjoy basic civil liberties because of your situation, like gay people who aren't able to get married, have death benefits or legal benefits onto their respective spouses?

        • Danny September 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM #

          Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Hang on just a second, I want you to clarify something, Anonymous:

          You're a Christian, and you're offended by people trashing Christianity.

          Chip is a homosexual, and he's offended by people trashing homosexuality.

          In what universe are you right to be offended but he is not?

        • Madison Bettle September 19, 2012 at 1:16 PM #

          To Anonymous and Anon Believer,

          The ignorance you both demonstrate is overwhelming. Half my family is Christian and if they thought the way you do, I would be rightfully ashamed of them. It is not about "hypersensitivity" or the (crass word you chose to use) "pussification" of the world. We do not CHOOSE to be "upset" or "offended" or "make a big commotion over what other people do." Those are our RIGHTS as human beings. Escobar may have a 'right' to express his so called opinion, but his opinion – as he stated in his interview – was that he has nothing against gay people. He backtracked entirely. So he was not, in fact, expressing any type of freedom. He was merely, as you say, 'being an idiot'. At the same time, he is a public figure. There are children that attend his games and support him. All celebrities, due to the fact that they are in the lime light, will forever be held accountable for their actions because their presence holds such sway over the public. I disagree entirely with the lionization of ANY person, as I feel that people are very much capable of making their own choices. But your ignorance in stating that people have a CHOICE in how they feel is so grossly hypocritical I do not know where to begin. The fact that you yourself, and you even admitted to it, commented on this blog means that you clearly are offended when people throw religion under the bus. You yourself clearly are 'offended'. I can see you playing the dance of trying to cover your own ass, but in the end, I just feel sorry for you. Instead of calling Escobar's behaviour into question, you QUESTION the LEGITIMACY of Chip's feelings.

          As for you Anon Believer – do you think throwing your traumatized past around is really any sort of evidence to undermine what Chip has to say? Chip never claimed to 'have it worse' than anyone else. By calling the legitimacy of Chip's feeling into question, you are, hate to break it to you, undermining your own legitimacy in expressing emotional turmoil over your past. Because, according to the person you "agree" with, you are CHOOSING to be hurt by that past. Essentially, Anonymous is telling you to get the fuck over it. You have no right to roll your eyes, because for all you know Chip could have gone through other experience you are wholeheartedly unaware of. The reason for this, obviously enough, was that this post was about his being gay, NOT THE ENTIRETY OF HIS LIFE.

          I experienced a great deal of hardship in my own life, but I'm not going to post it here for all to see. Because, yes, this post WAS about Chip. That's the POINT. If you want to talk about how hard your life is, then start your own website. I'm sure there will be lots of people willing to make it all about them in their responses to you. Which is precisely what you just did.

          Chip is not an idiot. But you both most definitely are. What it comes down to is THIS: no one would "get offended" by outright displays of stupidity such as Escobar's, IF IT JUST STOPPED HAPPENING. Understand? If NO ONE CARED, then the so called 'little jokes' that people make every day about race, sexuality, gender, class, religion ETC – would be far worse than "little" jokes. In fact, if society did not have "political correctness," the slave system would still be in effect, Jewish people (such as myself) would have been extinct long ago, and every day would be one (insert any category) hunt after another.

          Frankly, YOU are part of the larger problem. The fact that you are willing to ignore this says a lot about who you are. You claim to not kick up a fuss when people call out religion, but who cares about anyone else who is offended, as long as you don't have to suffer. Sorry buddy, doesn't work both ways.

          You claim we're all guilty of this, but you most of all. Hypocrisy is an ugly thing, Anonymous.

          And you reek of it.

          Do us all a favour and stop wasting our time. You give humanity a bad name and I'm tired of it. I really am. You claim to be religious, but your words suggest nothing but hate.

          If God does exist, I highly doubt he/she would be impressed with your inability to empathize with another human being. Doesn't your religion practice tolerance, forgiveness, good will toward men? Perhaps you might put more energy into being a better Christian, instead of acting self-righteous about Chip's perfectly LEGITIMATE reaction to Escobar's behaviour.

          Also, your sarcastic ":)" at the bottom of your post further demonstrates your childishness. If I had the audacity, I'd say "I'll pray for your soul" as so many other audacious religious people say. But it has nothing to do with religion. Some people want so desperately to identify with a religion because it makes them feel better about themselves.

          You don't need religion to be a good person. You just CHOOSE TO BE ONE.

          Madison

          • Anon Believer September 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM #

            Madison, the only reason I mentioned my past was simply to give Chip a little bit different perspective on his whole 'my feelings are hurt' routine. The fact is, outside of this passing mention in my response, only a very small handful of people in the course of my life have any idea of what I have gone through and I am definitely not looking for sympathy or anything else from Chip, or you, or anybody else. I just thought it might be helpful for Chip to step away from his life for just a second and realize an entire population all around him might be suffering a whole lot more than he is, and for reasons that run a whole lot deeper than his.

            As far as this not being about the entirety of his life, he's the one the started the narrative going back to his high school years and it appears to me as though his being gay has affected the entirety of his life because hey, he's offended by a perceived slight that wasn't even directed to him personally.

            You do make a good point about people choosing to continue to be hurt by their past. The past affects us only to the point that we allow it. On the other hand, nobody can erase the scars on their souls anymore than they can remove the scars from their skin. If you talk to a veteran or someone else who has lost a limb they will tell you that although the limb is gone, the sensations of it still being there continue. That is very much like the scars of the soul, the individual just has to keep reminding him/herself that the trauma is over.

        • rfa September 19, 2012 at 1:21 PM #

          It's always depends on the eye of the beholder.

          While you are allowed to express yourself about Escobar remarks like this… and I quote..
          "While I don’t begrudge him his right to have his own set of beliefs (as much as I disagree with them), I find his actions to be inappropriate, disgusting, and reprehensible given the public nature in which he displayed them."
          … what happens if I type this same words and address them to you after you share your own personal story?

          If I disagree with you, I'm homophobic, but if you disagree with Escobar, you are right? even if we use the same phrase, right?

          And regarding the "homophobic slur"… he should apologize to the coward community instead of the gay community. Words have different meanings and it all depends on the connotation and you jumped into some conclusions without knowing the language.

          I do speak Spanish, and anyone that has translate something in their lives knows that words cannot take literary every time. I'm not saying that Escobar is right, i'm just saying that this went out of proportions. e.g. No seas maricón -> translates into-> "grow a pair". Nothing to do with faggot…. unless you give it a strange twist, but what then… we can ban this phrase too? and we will get to a point in which we will not be able to encourage our sons with "that's my boy!" … because it's homophobic!

          I'm just saying, it's not always about gays or about you. Keep your mind open, because it might be about something else. Don't be so egocentric and sensitive.

  15. crispybasil September 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM #

    Great piece.

  16. Silence Do Good September 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM #

    I love how you are completely fine with others making inflamatory remarks (oops, I'm sorry, joking) about latinos but gay people are off limits. Oh wait no – I see you have defended that remark in the comments section so it's all ok. It appears your hipocracy has no bounds. Please continue on about the latin pool boy, perhaps a joke about chinese women drivers is next? But let's all be clear to never, ever, ever in any way shape or form ever make any joking reference about gay people. Loser.

    • ChipBuck September 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM #

      I never made an inflammatory remark about latinos. Some latinos are pool guys. Same as asians, whites, and blacks. You're making a MASSIVE leap in assume that the remark my friend made was racist.

      • Silence Do Good September 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM #

        So by your logic here, Escobar did nothing wrong because maricon means sissy and some gay people are sissies just like some latinos are pool boys? Also, I'm not making any MASSIVE leap here. I never said your friends remark was racist but apparently you now think so. Your friend's remark was not racist but it was conveying a stereo type and you had no problem with that and continue to defend it. I couldn't care less but just thought I should point out your hypocracy. You sir are a hypocrite and that is a fact.

        • Madison Bettle September 19, 2012 at 1:21 PM #

          It's "hypocrisy". If you're going to call someone a hypocrite, at least have the decency to spell the word correctly. Or just remain silent.

      • Ray broadback September 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM #

        Sorry chip. I could say I'm gay. I could say I'm Latino. But neither would be true. Joking about a pool boy named paco IS racist. No ifs ands or buts about it. A jewish banker? a chinese dry cleaner? an irish bar owner? they are all racist if publicly used to denigrate. If that "joke" was publicized, it would be rightfully as condemned as the eyeblack. Perhaps moreso if one considers alternative interpretations of maricon (sissy, etc. and not necessarily faggot) . Amazing that your brother or friend joked about being gay and a Latino pool boy, but you saw nothing wrong with the latter.

  17. Student September 19, 2012 at 11:32 AM #

    As a student in spanish, I was taught maricon was gay, not faggot. Just a small nitpick, but great read.

    • anonymous October 25, 2012 at 4:17 PM #

      Actually Maricon is the masculine gay guy, Pato is the feminine and bugaron is bi sexual

  18. Darryl September 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM #

    People are reacting oddly to this in here I think. To me, faggot and nigger are just taboo words that you don't use. And who are we to tell someone what should be offensive? I thought Escobar's move was really dumb and disappointing. But to me, it's different than my friend calling me a queer. Or Chip's brother asking him if he will still like baseball. I like making fun of people and I hope we can get back to ribbing on each other (black, gay or handicapped. etc) without making it hateful.

    Also, not that anyone gives two shits, but I have cerebral palsy, half my body doesn't work correctly and I was insulted and picked on most of my childhood. But now I am 33 and have found a lane in life where most people aren't out to make me feel like a lesser person for who I am but can still joke and acknowledge my disablity without trying to bury me as a human.

    Also, there is a lot to be said about being made fun of by your friends or family versus some stranger calling you a well-understood, slur. Be it Nigger, Retard or fag.

    • Darryl September 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM #

      Also, great piece Chip. I miss you buddy. Great work here.

    • Silence Do Good September 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM #

      Well said sir.

  19. Matt Collins September 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM #

    Fantastic article, Chip

  20. Veetz September 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM #

    If anyone cares to learn, please read "dont let stereotypes warp your judgment" by Robert Heilbroner. Otherwise good day.

  21. Darren September 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM #

    Thanks Chip, very well put.

    One thing though, is that there has been a 'gay Jackie Robinson'. His name was Glenn Burke and he went through hell. There's a great documentary about his story: http://www.thenation.com/blog/155946/reviewing-ou… Hopefully it's different next time.

    I think this whole thing presents an opportunity for the MLB to look at its own history of homophobia and the work it needs to do towards a creating a more welcoming environment. Not sure that they will take the opportunity, but, its there.

    I wrote about this history and the current context here:
    http://www.reworkit.net/2012/09/18/yunel-escobar-

  22. Danny September 19, 2012 at 1:08 PM #

    I love the people that jumped on here and immediately started defending Christianity, even though you never once disparaged their religion or anyone else's. Why so defensive, eh? Feeling guilty?

    But seriously, Chip, great article. Keep doing what you're doing, man. People will come around eventually. We've seen throughout American history that these things just don't change overnight, even if they probably should.

  23. Meg September 19, 2012 at 2:09 PM #

    It seems that people are confusing "free speech," which is the constitutional right to say whatever you want (idiotic or otherwise) without prosecution, with an employer's right to protect its image and brand by taking action against employees that speak in a manner which is harmful to the bottom line. Escobar can believe and say what he wants about homosexuality without fear that the government will punish him for it, just like Ozzie Guillen could legally say whatever he wanted to say about Castro. Just because they were both protected from prosecution doesn't mean that MLB didn't have every right- and a responsibility, since offensive public statements are harmful to their profits- to sanction them.

  24. James Smyth September 19, 2012 at 2:28 PM #

    Weird how it is only an issue when it comes to minorities. Lets look at your religious statement. How is writing a bibicial verse on eye black not offending to all other religions. Oh ya it is… But of course, typical over sensitive world we live in and everyone takes offense to everything. We have to worry about all these minority groups just looks for press. Try looking into what you actually wrote instead of it meaning nothing, which it does, due to your igornance. Try looking at the culture and what the word really means not what ppl got from Google Translate, which is wrong. There are many different contexts of the word and the there are different meanings for the word depending on the country the person is from. Typical narrow minded gay guy crying a river over nothing

    • hammyofdoom September 19, 2012 at 9:59 PM #

      Jesus reading your response made my head hurt. The last sentence alone made me roll my eyes at you, its like saying "Typical straight guy beating his woman for not making him a sandwich".

    • adam September 22, 2012 at 4:14 PM #

      How is it offensive to other religious groups? There's a certain level of acceptable freedom of expression, and it extends to religion, surely. I'm a staunch atheist, and I wouldn't be upset for any length of time if somebody had Bible verses, or Qur'an verses, whatever, I don't care, anywhere on their body. As long as they're playing the game, IDGAF.

      That said, when you outright intentionally insult a group of people with whatever you've put on your body, you've crossed the line. You represent a team, an organization, and an entire professional sports league every time you take the field. You can't do that without repercussion in any other field of business; why is it okay here?

  25. hopefulee September 19, 2012 at 2:30 PM #

    Mr. Chip Buck — Was struck by the similarity of your initial homosexual realizations and fears and those of Clay Aiken. It was like reading his story in that sense. Though you might not have had as much turmoil because of it – Clay being a celebrity – continues to be maligned, disparaged, and demonized years after his coming out.

    Your blog does serve a great purpose by pointing out the negative connotations of name calling and in my opinion, the idiocy and egotism of many people thinking that they are better than others because of their supposedly superior sexual nature. The fact is, we are all human beings who are equal, and should be treated and respected as such.

  26. carniac September 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM #

    wow man pussies this world is a bunch of week spineless douches name calling come on fags get over it

  27. Bill September 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM #

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    So many comments here amount to "so I have to respect your lifestyle, but you don't have to respect my lifestyle [that is, my right to pass judgment on you even though you're just living your life and it doesn't affect me in any way]?" or "if gay people are so insistent that we tolerate or accept their views, why won't they tolerate and accept our views [that is, our refusal to tolerate them]?"

    Take like two seconds and think about what you're saying. The correct answer to both questions is "yes, that's exactly right, and you're using a computer or some other device effectively right now, so you can't really be so stupid as to think there's actually some kind of contradiction there." if other people are living their lives in a way that doesn't affect you in any way, you don't get an opinion on that (or rather, not without marking yourself unmistakably as a bigoted fuckwit). That's all there is to it. There's no quid pro quo there, until people start commonly saying they "don't agree with the heterosexual lifestyle." Which I'm fairly confident won't happen.

    Excellent as always, Chip.

    • Mijo1990 September 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM #

      Finally someone else notices the contradictions and the "poor me " assholes. we all have problems get over it and youselves.

  28. Nick September 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM #

    It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?' —Stephen Fry

    While I disagree with what he did and think MLB rightfully suspended him because they need to protect their brand, I don't think any gay man should care what an uneducated baseball player says. Why? How does what he did affect your life? It doesn't. Articles like this do more harm than good in the gay community because it makes people not want to hang around gays because they are afraid that they might accidentally offend them.

    • Meg September 19, 2012 at 5:24 PM #

      Telling a person when they say something offensive has merit because a decent human being cares when his or her conduct hurts others. Saying "I'm offended" doesn't imply that the offending party doesn't have every legal right to continue making offensive statements- but it does give that person the opportunity to examine his or her actions and amend them going forward, if he or she cares about the effect he or she is having on others (as seems it may have happened with Escobar). If he meant what he said by "not meaning anything by" his statements, and being "embarassed" by the aftermath, then maybe he truly didn't understand how hurtful the statement was- and by telling him, rather than being silently bothered, fans are giving him the chance to consider the effect of his actions going forward.

      • Meg September 19, 2012 at 5:27 PM #

        Speaking up is also valuable because it tells those who were insulted (here, gay people) that they are not alone, and people in general don't all agree with the offensive statement. By seeing the public outcry, a young man or woman struggling with his or her sexuality will see that the offensive statement isn't the opinion of society as a whole.

        • Gerry September 22, 2012 at 4:39 PM #

          Good perspective. Having been deeply involved in the civil rights movement of the late -50's and 60's and 70's, the reponses here are both heartening and discouraging. Back then there were huge social, educational and economic consequences for being ANY color, being a woman, having any kind of handicap. Being gay was different as it crossed all color, culture, health, education, religious and economic lines. Being gay was disrespected/feared/ignored by all, and the gay community remained in hiding, "in the closet". Sadly, as Martin King and Cesar Chavez worked effectively for unified political and social action among their communities, Rev. King's assasination and the well funded isolation of S. Chavez, this unity devolved into more narrow, self-serving activities with predictably more limited success.

          The comments are heartening because many reflect the intelligent attitudes which effectively achieved full integration, equality for women, respect and support for those with physical and educational issues. Some comments are glaringly discouraging because they reflect the ignorance which for ages has motivated too many to hang onto antiquated prejuices which keep America from finally being united, a beacon of human rights, an example to peoples and nations less advanced in terms of human equality. I get tired of seeing Confederat flags flying proudly and defiantly in so many places which reek of the hate which divides and harms this nation and the people of every type who live within its borders. Sure we have the right to feel hate, but we also have the responsibility to try and rise above it, and are prohibited by law, by custom, by good sense not to express that hate towards those who are different.

          Chip, it took courage to write this piece. Thank you. Alot of athletes never became rocket scientists, and represent a wonderfully inclusive culture in which racism and socio-economic distinctions are, at least, things of the past. Escobar's
          exercise in Spanish slang actually does have multiple meanings, but you are IMO correct to call it oit for what it appears to be. Such things change slowly because generations move slowly. To put this in perspective, I once had the privilege of interviewing an Alabama woman who was born into slavery, and even as, in my mind, I relive her experiences in a world without any rights at all and constant persecution … and without electricity, cars or phones … here I am discussing real progress in the human condition in the USA, on my iPhone. Be patient Chip while continuing to act with courage. Full equality and tolerance may not happen in my lifetime or yours, but it is more likely than regression.

  29. the anti fag September 19, 2012 at 3:59 PM #

    The worst part of this story is his paychecks are being donated to Faggots!, really maricon means sissy coward someone weak. But faggots always want to be up in arms and bitching about something. Faggots are the biggest gang in America, and now all of sudden you can't say anything negative about queers. Complete and total bs. Faggots will never be accepted in sports and they shouldn't be accepted in society. Just like its illegal for woman to show breast in public, it should be illegal for faggots to hold hands and kiss in public. It's fucking gross. I'm in McDonald's trying to eat and I gotta look at you and your man feed each other fries.

    • Nora September 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM #

      You sound nice.

      You have the right to say anything you like. But we have the right to think you're an ignorant, sad, mess of a person based on the hate you spew. Please don't reproduce.

      • Chas September 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM #

        How many times can I give this comment the thumbs up?

    • Dennis September 20, 2012 at 1:45 AM #

      what a stupid ugly hate spewing monkey you must be…carry on and i second Nory for the love of god do not reproduce

    • Chas September 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM #

      How many times can give this comment the thumbs down?

    • Mijo1990 September 23, 2012 at 1:34 PM #

      AMEN!!

  30. s d September 19, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

    The point of this piece, and it's a helluva good point, is that there isn't a single individual on a roster in the four major professional sports who is out. You want to tell me there are no gay athletes in professional sports? And that's why it matters, because athletes are role models, and like it or not in this country homosexuality is an issue of civil rights. In case there was any doubt, all one needs to do is read the name-calling venom just in this comments section. To those who hide behind an internet moniker as a license to spout bigotry, if you want to continue to live in ignorance go right ahead, be a coward. I'm sure it feels great to anonymously get your hate off your chest. But let me ask you: has it ever crossed your mind that your favorite player might be gay?

  31. Jason @ IIATMS September 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM #

    Well done, Chip.

  32. Eli September 19, 2012 at 9:39 PM #

    Hey Chip,

    Excellent article. There's some many things wrong with all of the people that posted negative comments, I don't know where to begin. So, I won't. I'll just say this- its one thing to come on here and post a negative comment under a fake name and then call you a "fucking faggot". It's another to write an open hearted article like this. You are the bigger man and I will always stand by you.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

    Your brother,
    Eli

    • Mijo1990 September 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM #

      You said "stand behind you" lol get it? Because he's gay hehehehehehe

  33. Ivan September 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM #

    Until last night I wasn't aware of the "tu ere maricon" comment. I'm also not surprised of it — homophobia still runs violently rampant in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic. Escobar's anti-gay stance is not the first and most likely won't be the last — especially considering he plays in a sport where apparently no one is even remotely gay and comes from a culture that accepts and tolerates homophobia. The fact that he stated his position was not trying to offend the LGBT community is laughable and he should be ashamed for it (but he won't).

    "Maricon" means exactly what it means in Spanish: faggot. It does not equate to the mode modern "that's gay" that now kids use to mean "lame". And I should know — I'm a gay Latino.

  34. Sabrina September 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM #

    Chip, you know you are my favorite Boston fan. And appreciate you sharing how Escobar's actions have offended you. I don't think a three day suspension is enough. Great piece!

  35. mike ciaccia September 20, 2012 at 12:49 AM #

    Great article chip. There is no place for this kind of slur or derogatory comment in baseball or any other sport. There are too many comments like this in politics and other aspects of life to go into sport. It's a game and more often than not the players forget that and do reprehensible things. I'm glad major league baseball suapended him and hope the blue jays do more. Keep up the solid writing.

  36. Bill_S September 20, 2012 at 8:05 AM #

    I could have bought into Escobar's explanation if his eye-black said something like… "Jose is Gay." Let's say his friend Jose came out and told him a couple days ago. And as a joke, Escobar put that on his eye black to subtly "announce it national TV" – well that would have been different. But it wasn't. I don't buy it. And it wasn't right.

    Good write-up by Chip. I follow many of his posts over on IIATMS. What was particularly interesting was the part where he was dating that girl for 4-5 years and then had to "face his demons" once they broke-up. Sounds like that must be much harder than JUST a break-up. Now it is a break-up and a "who the hell am I" type thing. I couldn't even imagine.

    Anyway, good for you, Chip! As long as your are happy and hopefully have friends and family that support you, that's what matters in the end.

  37. michael September 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM #

    I'm glad this piece was written. It's worth pointing out that he likely wrote the words in Spanish because thats his primary, if not only, language he speaks. I think this and the comments on the allusion to the pool boy highlight undertones of misunderstanding about prejudice that stems from lack of understanding, in many directions towards several groups of humans. With sincerity, thank you again for writing the piece.

  38. forged September 20, 2012 at 7:09 PM #

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and history on the topic in such a public forum. Far too often prejudicial comments are played over or swept under the rug rather than deal with the real issues at hand.

    Regardless of the intention behind his comments, when someone makes those sort of remarks about others sexual preferences, religious beliefs, or skin color, they are just furthering the cycle. When that occurs and no one speaks out about it then the conclusion likely becomes that they think it is okay to continue that behavior.

    It isn't.

    Again, thanks for the very interesting and insightful post.

  39. Bob September 22, 2012 at 1:11 AM #

    Rather delightful read, certainly worth my time at 1 in the morning. Nice to see that there are more positive feedbacks than negative ones too.

  40. Vlad September 22, 2012 at 6:55 PM #

    Wow. Whole lot of assholes in the comments here.

    It's a pity, because this was a very good piece that could teach people a lot, if they were willing to read it and actually think about what it's saying.

  41. Nichole September 23, 2012 at 2:06 PM #

    I did read it and I understood it and I realize that all this is is a reason to keep crying persecution. Just shut up already no one cares no one wants to hear it anymore. Being a woman I've been through things that you can't even imagine but I don't need to fill everyone in because they're MY problems and no one cares because they're dealing with their own problems. I'm tired of hearing about it! If you don't want to deal with the backlash shut your mouth! But if you want tons of attention and reasons to think you're a martyer then go ahead but stop annoying the rest of us!!!! I used to be tolerant and also had gay friends and was always there for them but they were never there for me. All of the gay people I've known are sellfish,think they're good actors,think that they can sing and are looking for a new reason to have a parade.

    • Danny September 23, 2012 at 4:34 PM #

      I think you've "been through things that we can't even imagine" not because you're a women, but because you're an insufferable bitch. Just throwing that out there.

    • Danny September 23, 2012 at 4:39 PM #

      Also, it's spelled "martyr." And "selfish." And let's not even get into all the punctuation you clearly don't understand.

      If you can't speak English competently, you should probably just stay away from attempting any "intelligent" conversation.

    • "Fair" My Ass September 26, 2012 at 2:22 AM #

      Ah yes, sucks that you get maternity leave while we don't, sucks that your gender get paid roughly the same even in factory jobs when your output is probably much less, sucks that your gender is often assumed to be the victim in family abuse incidents (regardless of its validity), and sucks that your gender gets more attention and leniency in the school system from K to 12.
      Most importantly, it must suck to have an international pseudo-holiday for your gender while us men don't get any.

      Being a woman must SUCK! I mean, us men have it so easy, being men.

      However I do say the pride parade is rather obscene. Parading around half naked while committing borderline public indecency isn't the right way to go. Scantily clad straight people marching around in the middle of the day causing a ruckus -> indecent exposure, disturbance of peace, social suicide, scantily clad LGBT marching around in the middle of the day causing a ruckus -> a valiant display of pride and raising awareness.
      Kinda like how feminists wants men's rights extended to them but refuse to extend women's rights to men.

  42. anonymous October 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM #

    James Smyth hit the nail on the Head. Just like English speakers ie Faggot in England or USA, Spanish speaking cultures words differ in their meaning in different countries/cultures

  43. Sheila May 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

    I just find this article and read it for the first time. Great read!! And also proud that less than a year later, a professional athlete from one of the four main sporting categories has come out!! The progress bring made to treat all people as equal is too slow, but at least it's progress.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “The Meaning of “‘Tu Ere Maricon’” | HardballTalk - September 19, 2012

    [...] Chip Buck writes for the Red Sox blog Fire Brand of the American League.  He’s also gay, and this morning he has a lengthy contemplation about the Yunel Escobar business. [...]