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Monday, September 17, 2012

DJF: Controversy In Escobar’s Eye Black

Funny definitely isn’t the word I’d use, but it’s certainly odd that on the day where Brett Lawrie is declared a burgeoning icon in the city’s gay community, we might have a related incident on our hands, of a seriously ugly and unfortunate nature.

Above we have an image of Yunel Escobar taken on Saturday, which has been posted on Flickr by frequent Twitterer @James_in_TO. On the Flickr page he writes:

  For those whose Spanish isn’t fluent, have never seen Scarface or fail at google, Yunel’s eyeblack “TU ERE MARICON” translates to “You’re a faggot”. There are some small Spanish locales where it translates to “pussy” not “faggot” but that’s a very small possibility.

Ugh.

Now, to be entirely clear, I don’t speak Spanish, so I’m entirely taking this at face value and could absolutely be wrong about the interpretation or the context. I’ve already received a tweet from @BanditDeW, who explains, “All the latin players I ever played with used that as a generic curse word. Not a slur directed at a specific class.”

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: September 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM | 253 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jays

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   1. Rob_Wood Posted: September 17, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4238441)
For those of us old enough to remember, this was the word that Benny Paret called Emile Griffith before the 1960's fight in which Paret died on national TV.
   2. puck Posted: September 17, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4238449)
“All the latin players I ever played with used that as a generic curse word. Not a slur directed at a specific class.”

A lot of non-latin Americans also use "bundle of sticks" as a generic curse word. But doesn't it get its "curse" power *because* it's anti-gay? It could easily be the same with the spanish epithet.
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4238451)
For those of us old enough to remember, this was the word that Benny Paret called Emile Griffith before the 1960's fight in which Paret died on national TV.

you beat me to it--I was going to mention that
   4. smileyy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4238457)
[2] That's exactly right, and that tweet quoted in the article misses that point.

When I call someone a "faggot", I'm not actually making the statement that they are a man who has sex with other men. Rather, I'm saying that men who have sex with other men have some fundamentally negative attribute, and the person I'm calling a "faggot" shares those negative attributes.

I hope that Yunel Escobar is a good person who did a dumb thing, and comes out and says "I now understand that I should have written 'TU ERE PENDEJO'" in my eyeblack."
   5. The District Attorney Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4238460)
Okay, Yunel Escobar did an insensitive thing, and should apologize and try to understand why it would offend people.

What I wanna hear more about is this:
the day where Brett Lawrie is declared a burgeoning icon in the city’s gay community
   6. JJ1986 Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4238463)
There are some small Spanish locales where it translates to “pussy” not “faggot” but that’s a very small possibility.


I assume this means Spanish-speaking, because Escobar is not Spanish. Wikipedia says Cuba is one of the places where it means "faggot".
   7. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4238464)
Can "TU ERE MARICON" also not be a question, where the person asking the question is hoping the answer is "Yes!"?
   8. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4238470)
Isn't the correct conjugation "eres" not "ere" for the tu form of the verb? My vague recollection of high school Spanish makes me believe this translates to "YOU IS MARICON" (I didn't learn the definition of maricon in school).

   9. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4238474)
I couldn't quite figure out the target here--it's not as if Escobar could have imagined the pitcher would be able to read the message--until I RTF, wherein Dirk Hayhurst suggests that teammates might have written on the eyeblack and Escobar thought, "Screw it, I'll wear it anyway." Don't know if that's what happened, but it makes more sense to me than someone doing it himself.

What troubles me most is that it should be "tu eres," not "tu ere." Shouldn't it?
   10. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4238476)
OK, so I actually clicked on the link, and Repoz buried the lede!

@keithlaw
If that image is real, Yunel should be suspended for the season.


Also:

What’s possibly worse, we have a common sense-based suggestion from ex-Jay Dirk Hayhurst, who writes about the incident on Facebook and Twitter in no uncertain terms as though it was a prank.
“You know what, I have to think someone wrote it there, so when YE picked up the eye black sheet he read the insult at him, but then he was like, ‘screw it,’ and put it on anyways thinking everyone would laugh (probably did) and the rest is history,” he explains. “I honestly think little positive or negative thought went into this. It’s just one of those regrettable acts of stupidity.”


I don't see why that's "possibly worse," but, hey.
   11. Rob_Wood Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4238480)
Yes, this slur is doubly insulting. You are insulting the person, but even worse you are insulting an entire populace. It is somewhat similar to saying that a boy plays like a girl. There is a widespread movement here in the US to eliminate these types of insults from our culture.
   12. smileyy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4238482)
[6] And even in those places, I'm sure that slur is regularly directed at homosexuals for a perceived lack of manliness.
   13. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4238503)
Who cares. Yuni did something stupid, or somebody punked him, or whatever. How can people have so little to their lives that they would actually give a crap? This society we have crafted sucks ass.

Nice to see Keith Law has found a new way of embarrassing himself. He's quite versatile in that regard.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4238517)
Nice to see Keith Law has found a new way of embarrassing himself. He's quite versatile in that regard.
]

Maybe Keith was offended because he's gay. Who knows?

You don't get to decide what is and isn't offensive to other people.
   15. The District Attorney Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4238526)
"Suspended for the season", in the Blue Jays' case, would of course mean about two weeks. That doesn't necessarily seem out of line for displaying an offensive slur on your body during a game.

If it's true that a teammate wrote it and Yunel went with it, then I suppose that makes Yunel less ignorant and/or hateful, and more dumb. One would also recall that Yunel was dumped by Atlanta for never-entirely-explained "chemistry" concerns, and wonder how friendly this "prank" was. (He's not playing at all well this season either, although he was good last year.)

And, here's the Lawrie article. It'd be interesting to hear his reaction.
   16. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 17, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4238535)
You don't get to decide what is and isn't offensive to other people.

No I don't, but if you want an action taken based on you "being offended" then I get to decide if you are being stupid or not. Racism exists, homophobia exists, they are when people are denied jobs, loans or anything else that affects their life in a real way. We cheapen these concepts and basically 'cry wolf' when stupid stuff like this get thrown in that same bucket. Here's how we handle this as a society: We all say, "Wow, Yuni's kind of an #######. I think less of him". Then you know what we do? We go on with our day. It's not that big of a deal. People being offended or pretending to be offended is not a showstopper folks.
   17. shock Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4238545)
I would never call a gay person a faggot, unless he was being a faggot.
   18. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4238557)
Isn't this just the 21st century version of Billy Ripken's FF bat?
   19. shock Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4238564)
What troubles me most is that it should be "tu eres," not "tu ere." Shouldn't it?


The poor conjugation seems to support the idea that this was a teammate pranking Yunel. One who doesn't speak spanish or speaks it poorly.

Wouldn't surprise me if it was the aforementioned Lawrie, tbph.

I pretty much agree with Dirk.
   20. daveywein Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4238573)
"Tu ere" would be a fairly common pronunciation for many Latin Americans, and as such an informal spelling. I would actually think it's really unlikely for any American to accidentally conjugate "ser" (to be) in that way.

With that said, it would be incredibly odd if Escobar wrote this himself to make a statement to just about anyone.
   21. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4238574)
Oh boy, this doesn't look good.
   22. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4238575)
Then you know what we do? We go on with our day.


No we don't. People get fired/disciplined/suspended all the time for this sort of thing. It's not considered acceptable behavior in any workplace.
   23. bookbook Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4238584)
Guys, if you're like me you were taught pure, Castillian Spanish in school. The spoken language in Spain, much less all of the individual Latin American countries can be quite a bit different.

Robert, I'm glad you're such a fine and tolerant fellow. For myself, I'm never quite sure how intolerant to be of others' intolerance. For MLB, there's a real desire to keep receiving money from gay fans, so the calculus is all the more complicated (especially since they also want the bucks from old-fashioned ########, I suppose.)
   24. McCoy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4238592)
No I don't, but if you want an action taken based on you "being offended" then I get to decide if you are being stupid or not.

This. I have to remember this statement so when somebody inevitably trots out the "you don't get to decide what I'm offended by" line I'll trot this out as my response.
   25. McCoy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4238595)
For MLB, there's a real desire to keep receiving money from gay fans, so the calculus is all the more complicated (especially since they also want the bucks from old-fashioned ########, I suppose.)

Barry Bonds made some statements about whitie and I and millions of others kept on giving MLB money. MLB is going to be fine if they do virtually nothing about this. Gays may be gay but that doesn't mean they are a bunch of sissies that get their panties in a bunch over the silliest thing.
   26. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4238600)
The poor conjugation seems to support the idea that this was a teammate pranking Yunel. One who doesn't speak spanish or speaks it poorly.

The missing "s" actually makes it more likely it was Escobar (or maybe Hechavarria), as Cubans are famous for dropping the "s" when they speak.
   27. tshipman Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4238602)
"Tu ere" would be a fairly common pronunciation for many Latin Americans, and as such an informal spelling. I would actually think it's really unlikely for any American to accidentally conjugate "ser" (to be) in that way.


++
Agree (although I don't know much about Cuban Spanish).
   28. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4238603)
So when we chant "Yankees suck, Yankees suck," we're really commending them for their attentiveness to their partner's pleasure.
   29. Bob Tufts Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4238605)
When I see the earlier posts debating the Spanish grammar of the insult, I immediately think of the "Life of Brian" scene with "romanes eunt domus".
   30. AndrewJ Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4238608)
I'm old enough to remember Jim McMahon wearing controversial headbands on the sidelines during the Super Bowl-winning season of 1985. Commissioner Pete Rozelle told him to tone it down, and Jim did. Nobody felt anybody's First Amendment rights were being trampled.
   31. Matthew E Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4238609)
I think that Hayhurst's speculation makes a lot of sense, and if he's right then it would follow that the interplayer pranking and Escobar wearing the eyeblack isn't that big a thing.

However.

The Jays are a major league team. They have a fanbase and represent a city. If the fanbase and the city finds this offensive, and they do, then that makes it a big thing after all, and Escobar (and any other players who impinge on this story) should certainly have been able to come up with just this same train of thought, and taken steps to see it didn't blow up in just the way that it has. If any kind of repercussions land on anybody, they deserve it.
   32. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4238616)
Nobody felt anybody's First Amendment rights were being trampled.

I think it's because you don't have "First Amendment" rights when you an employee at the workplace.

If you wear a shirt or post a sign at work that your boss doesn't agree with, you can't claim First Amendment rights if he punishes you for it.
   33. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4238622)
I'm old enough to remember Jim McMahon wearing controversial headbands on the sidelines during the Super Bowl-winning season of 1985. Commissioner Pete Rozelle told him to tone it down, and Jim did. Nobody felt anybody's First Amendment rights were being trampled.


Yeah, but this is Canada, it's a whole different ballgame under socialist hegemony.
   34. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4238629)
The Jays are a major league team. They have a fanbase and represent a city. If the fanbase and the city finds this offensive, and they do, then that makes it a big thing after all, and Escobar (and any other players who impinge on this story) should certainly have been able to come up with just this same train of thought, and taken steps to see it didn't blow up in just the way that it has. If any kind of repercussions land on anybody, they deserve it.


Yeah, I can understand someone pranking Escobar like this, and I can understand him responding to the prank by saying "Screw you guys, I'm wearing it anyways", but I'm really surprised that no-one said "there's HD cameras everywhere, this'll be all over the Internet if you go out there with that on your face". This is a time where controversy can erupt when a relief pitcher has a dirty hat or spot on his jersey. Escobar playing an entire game with the Spanish word for faggot plastered on his face isn't going to be somehow missed and it really doesn't reflect well on the organization.
   35. MM1f Posted: September 17, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4238647)
Waiiiit a second. I find this hard to believe. After all, every know it all internet baseball type told me that Yunel Escobar being an insufferable ####### was a completely made up story and the Braves were obviously a bunch of dumbos for letting him go?
   36. PerroX Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4238705)
No we don't. People get fired/disciplined/suspended all the time for this sort of thing. It's not considered acceptable behavior in any workplace.


Not everybody works in an office.
   37. flournoy Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4238714)
I'm a Braves fan who didn't care for Escobar when he was a Brave, and certainly doesn't feel any more charitable towards him now that he's not a Brave. So I'm not predisposed to side with Escobar.

With that said, is there anyone who actually cares about this? Keep in mind that being concerned since there are other people who may be offended does not count as actually caring.
   38. NTNgod Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4238730)
ESPN.com: MLB investigating slur on eye black

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney confirmed to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press the commissioner's office is looking into the reports.

"The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday's game," the Blue Jays said in a statement Monday night, adding the club "takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter."


If it was a teammate prank, I'd have to agree with Shock that the high-strung Lawrie would be a prime suspect IMO.
   39. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4238736)
If it was a teammate prank, I'd have to agree with Shock that the high-strung Lawrie would be a prime suspect IMO.


FWIW (probably nothing) Escobar and two other Jays were late scratches from yesterday's lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion, Yunel Escobar and Jeff Mathis were held out for various reasons. All three players were originally listed on the lineup card, but they were then removed less than two hours prior to first pitch.

Encarnacion was held out of the lineup because of a sore big toe on his right foot. He aggravated the injury while running to third base during Saturday's 3-2 loss to Boston

[...]

Escobar and Mathis were both scratched because of flu-like symptoms. The flu bug has been going around the Blue Jays' clubhouse in recent weeks, and the pair has become the latest casualties. They're both expected to be ready for action on Tuesday against the Yankees.


The timing's either really suspicious or really unfortunate.
   40. shock Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4238738)
"Tu ere" would be a fairly common pronunciation for many Latin Americans, and as such an informal spelling. I would actually think it's really unlikely for any American to accidentally conjugate "ser" (to be) in that way.


You misunderstand. I'm not thinking that they knew the verb ser and conjugated it poorly; I'm thinking they overheard the phrase "tu eres maricon" somewhere and spelled it wrong.
   41. shock Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4238740)
The timing's either really suspicious or really unfortunate.


Holy crap, maybe Mathis is the culprit and they can somehow use this to void his contract.

I can dream.
   42. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4238752)
I don't know. This all happened vs Boston and it's not beyond Bobby Valentine to have done this.
   43. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 18, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4238774)
Not everybody works in an office.


Not sure how that matters. Employment law applies in all workplaces.
   44. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 18, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4238784)

No we don't. People get fired/disciplined/suspended all the time for this sort of thing. It's not considered acceptable behavior in any workplace.


Well right, that's what we currently do. You sort of missed the point. I was speaking of what we should do, in a decent society, where we have goals other than keeping HR departments as large and lawyers as busy as possible.
   45. DFA Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:29 AM (#4238791)
Yeah, but this is Canada, it's a whole different ballgame under socialist hegemony.


You mean the people's republic of canada, eh?

As far Escobar goes, he put the stupid eye black on, so whether it was a joke or not, he put it on. I look forward to booing him until he retires or more likely is cut.
   46. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:05 AM (#4238798)
Well right, that's what we currently do. You sort of missed the point. I was speaking of what we should do, in a decent society, where we have goals other than keeping HR departments as large and lawyers as busy as possible.


I don't know that I'd call a society where casual bigotry is condoned is one I'd call decent. I'm pretty happy that my workplace is pretty clear that it doesn't allow hateful speech. It's certainly a lot less stressful that way.

Now there's certainly a broad range of shitty behavior, and I agree most people should generally let stuff go and others should think for half a second before spewing out whatever crap is in their heads, but writing "you're a faggot" on your face seems clearly over the line to me. I mean, come on.
   47. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:05 AM (#4238799)
As far Escobar goes, he put the stupid eye black on, so whether it was a joke or not, he put it on.

He obviously wore them, but we don't know that he put them on.
   48. Greg K Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:16 AM (#4238801)
I would never call a gay person a faggot, unless he was being a faggot.

People from Phoenix are Phoenicians!
   49. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:34 AM (#4238804)
He obviously wore them, but we don't know that he put them on.

Absolutely. Entirely possible he doesn't do it in a mirror by himself. Hechavarria or a disillusioned coach could have done it, like Farrell. If you'd seen some of his moves lately you'd know what I mean. Or Lawrie, Canadian honeybadger just don't give a sh!t.
   50. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:46 AM (#4238805)
I don't know that I'd call a society where casual bigotry is condoned is one I'd call decent. I'm pretty happy that my workplace is pretty clear that it doesn't allow hateful speech. It's certainly a lot less stressful that way.

Since we are now on the third lap on this, I'm going to go ahead and conclude that you either didn't fully read or fully understand my original post 16. So I'm going to move on.

   51. Swedish Chef Posted: September 18, 2012 at 04:12 AM (#4238806)
It's certainly a lot less stressful that way.

And you don't get stressed by the possibility of being fired for any misstep?
   52. Bug Selig Posted: September 18, 2012 at 07:11 AM (#4238815)
And you don't get stressed by the possibility of being fired for any misstep?


The morally superior fear not mere mortals.
   53. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 18, 2012 at 07:14 AM (#4238816)
And you don't get stressed by the possibility of being fired for any misstep?


No. Avoiding these sorts of "missteps" is not that difficult for an adult with even the slightest bit of common sense.
   54. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 18, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4238886)

Re:16

These actions can easily give the impression that gay players, staff, and fans are not welcome in baseball. That has serious and tangible consequences. In recent years the You Can Play program has allied with dozens of NHLers, college and junior hockey players to try to change hockey's homophobic culture and let gay youth know that they can be themselves on the ice and off. It'd be wonderful if baseball did something similar.

I attended Saturday's game with a very close friend who is gay, a ten year old, and an eight year old, who got eye black stickers from the Jr Jays stand. It saddens me they might not feel welcomed or safe at a Jays game. Merely waving this away as the actions of one or more ignorant "bad apples" doesn't cut it when the default setting of team sports is homophobia. We need to change the entire culture of the sport, not pretend this is a personal issue with one or two players. This is an opportunity to make some really positive changes.
   55. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 18, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4238906)
Would it make a difference if his eyeblack said "you're a faggot" in English?
   56. flournoy Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4238936)
We need to change the entire culture of the sport, not pretend this is a personal issue with one or two players. This is an opportunity to make some really positive changes.


I don't know what you do for a living. But what would you think if someone outside of your industry, maybe someone who occasionally buys your company's products, started discussing his personal intent to overhaul the industry culture?

I think I'll let the people actually involved with the business worry about their culture. Changes will continue to take place, but loudmouth outsiders are typically poorly received.
   57. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4238948)

I've played, watched, talked, and written baseball almost my entire life. I don't know what makes me an outsider, exactly. That I don't own the Orioles or play short for the Phillies?

You know, once upon a time there was a security guard in Kansas who argued that baseball teams should make decisions - from what trades to make to what free agents to sign to when to bunt - based on a new set of ideas and metrics. Lots of people called him a loudmouth outsider too. I wonder what happened to that guy and his crazy ideas.
   58. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4238954)
And you don't get stressed by the possibility of being fired for any misstep?

No. Avoiding these sorts of "missteps" is not that difficult for an adult with even the slightest bit of common sense.
I went to Catholic grade school. Non-Catholics often deride our religion as being guilt-based, but it's really based on treating people with respect.

One day in school, we were talking about sin and as youngsters were having a tough time grasping what exactly was a sin or not. The priest set us straight in the simplest, but most elegant, way: "You know when you've sinned; you don't need anyone to tell you."

If you use a racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever remark, you don't do it innocently; it takes the conscious decision that you don't care how badly you hurt someone else. Not using such language is the easiest thing in the world.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4238955)
I don't get the outsider/insider distinction. Baseball is wholly dependent on the affective allegiance of "outsiders" for its business model. Fans don't just purchase MLB's product, they identify themselves with it in a personal way.

This isn't like Chick Fil-A, where ultimately it's just a fried chicken sandwich. You purchase a good, you consume it, your allegiance to them is over. For MLB to work, they need millions of people to make MLB teams and MLB players a part of their life in that weird fandom way. Just on a practical level, MLB can't allow this sort of thing to happen without severe consequences.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4238957)
One day in school, we were talking about sin and as youngsters were having a tough time grasping what exactly was a sin or not. The priest set us straight in the simplest, but most elegant, way: "You know when you've sinned; you don't need anyone to tell you."

If you use a racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever remark, you don't do it innocently; it takes the conscious decision that you don't care how badly you hurt someone else. Not using such language is the easiest thing in the world.
This is very well said.
   61. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4238958)
I don't know what you do for a living. But what would you think if someone outside of your industry, maybe someone who occasionally buys your company's products, started discussing his personal intent to overhaul the industry culture?

I think I'll let the people actually involved with the business worry about their culture. Changes will continue to take place, but loudmouth outsiders are typically poorly received.
I don't know what you do for a living either, but in retail we call those loudmouth outsiders "customers" and care very deeply what they think.
   62. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4238959)
here we have goals other than keeping HR departments as large and lawyers as busy as possible.


Speaking of which...... a friend of my wife's who has an Arts degree, and HR diploma, and 10 years experience managing a retail store (Blockbuster video) recently went through FOUR separate interviews to land a job as an assistant manager at the Gap. Earlier, he had gone through three interviews in an unsuccessful attempt to become a regular salesperson at H&M. It must be nice to work in a field (HR) in which you get to grossly inflate your own importance without ever being reined in. Its one of the least productive professions in the western world.
   63. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4238960)
TDF, that was a wonderful story, thank you.
   64. flournoy Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4238961)
Good points, all. I overstated my case, though I maintain that it's not our place to dictate MLB "clubhouse culture."
   65. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4238966)
I went to Catholic grade school. Non-Catholics often deride our religion as being guilt-based, but it's really based on treating people with respect.


* respect not available in all areas. Supplies of respect may be limited during certain periods, Ask your Bishop if respect is available in your circumstance. No Jews.
   66. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4238972)
For those of us old enough to remember, this was the word that Benny Paret called Emile Griffith before the 1960's fight in which Paret died on national TV.


Aww, missed a boxing tangent. I have that fight in my collection and I think I've watched it twice. Seeing a man killed in the ring is always heartbreaking, and I haven't been able to enjoy modern boxing in good conscience in over a decade.
   67. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4238988)
fluornoy: "is there anyone who actually cares about this?"

Yes. I care that my baseball team conducts itself like the decent civic institution it is. I care about that very much. As a fan, the team belongs to me (and my fellow fans) moreso than anyone else, and it becomes terribly diluted when its players and employees are allowed to use racist, sexist, homophobic messaging. All I am asking is that the Blue Jays disallow our team from calling people "faggot" or "maricon" in public.

Basically, what Matt said in 59. And also, my gay fellow fans are important to me, but the way you asked the question indicated you didn't think that was important (actually, it is important).

Also, Primey for 65.
   68. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: September 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4239010)
"It must be nice to work in a field (HR) in which you get to grossly inflate your own importance without ever being reined in. Its one of the least productive professions in the western world."

All these immensely successful businesses must be monolithically run by people who are either fools or knaves, Rants. But which is it!? We may never know.
   69. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4239051)
Also, Primey for 65.
Sorry, but I find 65 terribly offensive.

Is the Catholic Church perfect? Of course not - no human creation or institution run by humans, is. But that doesn't mean the religion itself isn't based on real and good teachings.

The "No Jews" crack is specifically galling and juvenile (gee, much like the remark that is the basis of this whole thread). The Church has apologized for their behavior towards Jews, time and time again.

I find it deeply ironic that those who are anti-religion are so quick to play the "holier-than-thou" card.
   70. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4239058)
I'm with TDF again on the merits of #65. YR really likes "ironic" anti-Catholicism that tends to forget to leaven in the irony nine times out of ten.
   71. PerroX Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4239061)
Not sure how that matters. Employment law applies in all workplaces.


Alluding to what's said above, workplaces have cultures, and not every workplace has a lot of sensitive folks running the show, and moat places you don't gain respect by running to higher authority. Hothouse flowers don't survive in the wild.
   72. PerroX Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4239068)
I'm not sure an organization of men that subordinates women and protects a culture of child rape has any clear sense of wrongdoing, but I doubt they should be singled out as unique. Morality is a highly flexible system designed to condone one's group's own behavior and condemn that of other groups. There is no universal standard of morality.
   73. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4239077)
One day in school, we were talking about sin and as youngsters were having a tough time grasping what exactly was a sin or not. The priest set us straight in the simplest, but most elegant, way: "You know when you've sinned; you don't need anyone to tell you."

If you use a racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever remark, you don't do it innocently; it takes the conscious decision that you don't care how badly you hurt someone else. Not using such language is the easiest thing in the world.


LOL.

Having a catholic priest declaring sin as easy to define, is LOL coming from an religion that defines a vast amount of moral behavior as sinful.

People tease each other and make jokes at each others expense because they want to laugh, and often because they want their target to laugh because they like them. They often do so without consideration for how some intangible third party would feel hearing them, and without any desire to hurt that third party.

Some of the best jokes ever stomp all over that line, they use that line to hide their punch line and make it all the more deliciously unexpected. Again, they are jokes, you can enjoy a joke without hating the fictitious persons who are its subjects. if some bigot enjoys the joke because of their bigotry, that's only because they are bigots.

I never have cared about anyone's sexual preference, but spent my younger years on sports teams full of faggot. I never thought the term as meaning your team-mate was gay, it was a more gently dismissive term than #######. Hey faggot, you gonna get off your ass, stop playing with your pud and help us clean up? Try and catch me this time fag. How was that throw? Much better but still a little faggy, dicknose.

I'm sure that some of my teammates were homophobes who used it with ill intent, but also that the majority never did. The use of language, especially English, is never precise. The fact that YOU would only use a word to mean THIS, and that's the only use that's correct GRAMMATICALLY, doesn't mean that's how it's always used by others or that you can accurately pontificate upon what they were thinking when they said it.
   74. Depressoteric Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4239078)
You know, once upon a time there was a security guard in Kansas who argued that baseball teams should make decisions - from what trades to make to what free agents to sign to when to bunt - based on a new set of ideas and metrics. Lots of people called him a loudmouth outsider too. I wonder what happened to that guy and his crazy ideas.
He's been busy defending the innocence of Pete Rose and Joe Paterno.
   75. Depressoteric Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4239085)
BTW I wholly endorse TDF's #69, and partially co-sign onto KT's #73. The key qualification to his point, however, is that his logic loses nearly all of its justificatory -- as opposed to explanatory, and note the difference -- power when translated from private circumstances to a national spectator sport played in front of a paying audience and TV cameras for a franchise with significant PR concerns. At that point the players aren't just competitors playing against one another, they are ambassadors for the team and the sport to the public at large. They have a responsibility not to engage in behavior that can reasonably be interpreted as offensive or destructive, regardless of the fact that within their personal athletic cadre this stuff is no big deal and might even be meant as an affectionate, comradely non-insult.
   76. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4239090)
I never have cared about anyone's sexual preference, but spent my younger years on sports teams full of faggot. I never thought the term as meaning your team-mate was gay, it was a more gently dismissive term than #######. Hey faggot, you gonna get off your ass, stop playing with your pud and help us clean up? Try and catch me this time fag. How was that throw? Much better but still a little faggy, dicknose.

I'm sure that some of my teammates were homophobes who used it with ill intent, but also that the majority never did.
It's interesting that you're concerned about whether some of your teammates might have been homophobes, but not concerned about whether some of your teammates were gay and how they might have felt about this language.

The term is "dismissive" because of its association with anti-gay bigotry. It's been experienced by millions of gay people as both an insult and a threat - people who feel free using the word "faggot" may also be the sort of people who will beat you if they discover your sexual orientation, and at the very least they can't be trusted with this information. These threats of violence are becoming less and less a part of the lives of gay Americans, at least in a lot of places, but they were very strong when you were a kid. That language you see as light and fun was probably experienced as not just insulting, but dangerous and threatening.

(This language also continually reinforced the closet, as people believed they couldn't tell their friends on the ballclub about who they were and who they loved. And the closet was again a psychologically shattering experience, having to keep separate the most basic aspects of your life, out of fear of real and physical violence.)
   77. Depressoteric Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4239098)
The term is "dismissive" because of its association with anti-gay bigotry. It's experience by millions of gay people as both an insult and a threat - people who feel free using the word "faggot" may also be the sort of people who will beat you if they discover your sexual orientation.
Eh, I think you might be overplaying this. I know more than a few openly gay jocks -- and we're not talking about tennis here, we're talking about violent contact sports like rugby -- and guess what? I have happily heard them call teammates and competitors "fags" and the like with all the verve and vehemence of straight athletes. It's more of a male jock testosterone thing than a gay/non-gay thing, IMO. It's really just another variation of calling someone a 'p*ssy'. Did it use to be different? Possibly, probably...I wouldn't know, as I wasn't alive.

I do agree with you that it has no place whatsoever on a team with a public face, however.
   78. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4239118)
MCoA is 100% correct. YOU don't get to decide what's offensive to someone else, and if a word is generally offensive (n!gger, faggot, kike) it's ALWAYS wrong to use it. Again, you're using a term that denigrades a class of people for no other reason than to demean them. Whether a particular n!gger or faggot or kike takes issue is beside the point.

Hey faggot, you gonna get off your ass, stop playing with your pud and help us clean up? Try and catch me this time fag. How was that throw? Much better but still a little faggy, dicknose.
See, this only works if being a "faggot" is something bad; you yourself claim it's "a more gently dismissive term".
   79. PerroX Posted: September 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4239127)
   80. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 18, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4239189)
The thing I hate about these issues is that its apparent many people are under the impression they have a right to not be offended, which is a pretty pathetic position to take. Liek some other posters have said, discrimination can justifiably be limited by legislation, but being offended and discriminated against are very different.
   81. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 18, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4239190)
Since we are now on the third lap on this, I'm going to go ahead and conclude that you either didn't fully read or fully understand my original post 16. So I'm going to move on.


I guess I don't. Maybe you should have been more clear. Snarky 2-3 sentence missives probably aren't the best way to communicate with nuance on a complex issues.
   82. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4239193)
And you don't get stressed by the possibility of being fired for any misstep?


Not at all. It's pretty easy.
   83. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4239199)
The thing I hate about these issues is that its apparent many people are under the impression they have a right to not be offended, which is a pretty pathetic position to take.
Um, yes I do.

Would you say it's OK to burn a cross in the front yard of a black person? Or to draw swastikas on a synagogue?

Should I be able to make harassing phone calls to your 10 year old daughter?

There are things a civil society don't (or at least, shouldn't) allow. "All men are created equal, with certain unalienable rights" and all that.
   84. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4239205)
The thing I hate about these issues is that its apparent many people are under the impression they have a right to not be offended, which is a pretty pathetic position to take. Liek some other posters have said, discrimination can justifiably be limited by legislation, but being offended and discriminated against are very different.


Just as you have every right to think I'm stupid for being offended by Escobar's actions I have just as much right to think you are being ignorant for defending them. If someone doesn't want to be called out for offending a large group of people he should not engage in the offensive behavior in the first place.

If you want to call someone a derogatory name you certainly have that right. Just don't go crying and whining when other people exercise that same right to tell you how ignorant and offensive you are being.
   85. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4239210)
The thing I hate about these issues is that its apparent many people are under the impression they have a right to not be offended, which is a pretty pathetic position to take. Liek some other posters have said, discrimination can justifiably be limited by legislation, but being offended and discriminated against are very different.

To the contrary: I don't have the right to not be offended, but I do have the right to be offended when someone acts like an a*******.
   86. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4239216)
Would you say it's OK to burn a cross in the front yard of a black person? Or to draw swastikas on a synagogue?


I think a burning cross on a black person's lawn is pretty clearly covered by other laws, and not really comparable to the generic use of the word maricon. Making harassing phone calls to a 10-year old is not in the same ballpark either. Do you really equate these things?

People have a right to go about their daily lives without being discriminated against, but again, calling someone a faggot is no different than calling someone ugly, or a tub of lard, or a moron. My wife is thin, and she hates always having to put up with mean spirted comments about how thin she is from other women. Never once has she said that calling someone skinny should be illegal.

Do I use language generally considered offensive? Yes, but only when I'm certain I know my audience. I cringe when I hear people dropping f-bombs in front of little kids and old ladies, but that doesn't mean I think it should be illegal to say, write, or broadcast the word ####. Right and wrong will never be captured by legal and illegal, nor should it be.

   87. Matthew E Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4239218)
Would you say it's OK to burn a cross in the front yard of a black person? Or to draw swastikas on a synagogue?

Should I be able to make harassing phone calls to your 10 year old daughter?

There are things a civil society don't (or at least, shouldn't) allow. "All men are created equal, with certain unalienable rights" and all that.


There's a difference between being offended and being harassed. I wouldn't say it's okay to do any of those things you list, or that any of them should be legal, but I would say that you don't have the right to not be offended. By something that is just offensive and not harassing.
   88. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4239224)
Just as you have every right to think I'm stupid for being offended by Escobar's actions I have just as much right to think you are being ignorant for defending them. If someone doesn't want to be called out for offending a large group of people he should not engage in the offensive behavior in the first place.

If you want to call someone a derogatory name you certainly have that right. Just don't go crying and whining when other people exercise that same right to tell you how ignorant and offensive you are being.


Who's defending Escobar? I just don't believe words should ever be illegal. When I first saw the headline I immediate reaction was that the Jays should release him , but then I read Harhurst's comments and cooled my jets a little, and realized I was in no position to judge. And who's crying and whining? I may get offended from time to time in my daily life, but some comments and criticisms from people I've never met don't really get my hackles up. I'm not a big fan of ad hominen attacks, but I will still defend your right to make them.
   89. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4239231)
By something that is just offensive and not harassing.


I think that's sort of the crux of the issue there. If you're at a workplace and someone calls your wife a skinny b, and treats her like crap a few times, that stinks but she gets over it maybe. If it's a constant, day-in, day-out of that, then that gets into harassment, and of course there's a ton of gray in there.
   90. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4239232)
I just don't believe words should ever be illegal.

Who's making that argument?
   91. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4239241)
Who's defending Escobar? I just don't believe words should ever be illegal. When I first saw the headline I immediate reaction was that the Jays should release him , but then I read Harhurst's comments and cooled my jets a little, and realized I was in no position to judge. And who's crying and whining? I may get offended from time to time in my daily life, but some comments and criticisms from people I've never met don't really get my hackles up. I'm not a big fan of ad hominen attacks, but I will still defend your right to make them.


I'm not sure what your complaint in #80 (which I found whiny, YMMV) is then. I don't think anyone is saying that the word Escobar used should be illegal, just that it's inappropriate.

I probably shouldn't have quoted you in #84 because I was responding mentally to a couple of different posts and just a general tone beyond that.
   92. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 18, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4239260)
I don't think anyone is saying that the word Escobar used should be illegal, just that it's inappropriate.


TDF seemed to say that he felt he had a right to not be offended. Is that not what you took out of #83? I don't see how someone could have that position, yet not feel their should be legislation to prevent it. Most laws are established to protect rights.

EDIT: If I misinterpreted what TDF said, please let me know.
   93. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4239285)
I don't see how someone could have that position, yet not feel their should be legislation to prevent it.


I feel the same way I think TDF does. Maybe "expectation" would be a better word than "right." I wouldn't want certain words to be made illegal, but I also think I should be able to walk around and not have to hear them.

Maybe TDF was saying exactly what you think and does think words should be made illegal but that's not how I interpreted it. I don't want to speak for him though.
   94. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4239286)
TDF seemed to say that he felt he had a right to not be offended. Is that not what you took out of #83?
In a civilized society, I certainly have the expectation to not be offended.

Again - a term like "faggot" is only effective as a put-down if there's something wrong with being gay, or if gays are inherently inferior. If you don't think so, why would you use it as a derogatory term? Simply by saying "You're a faggot", you're intentionally offending a class of people.

I really can't believe anyone would argue it's OK to be offensive. Just because something's "legal" doesn't make it the right thing to do.
People have a right to go about their daily lives without being discriminated against, but again, calling someone a faggot is no different than calling someone ugly, or a tub of lard, or a moron.
1. Substitute "n!gger" for "faggot". Do you still agree with your statement?

2. You use the term "faggot" to describe people who aren't gay but act in a way you don't like. Is that the same way you use "ugly", "fat", or "moron"? No, you use those terms to describe people who (rightly or wrongly) you think are ugly, fat, or stupid.

EDIT: Obviously, great minds think alike.
   95. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4239296)
I think a burning cross on a black person's lawn is pretty clearly covered by other laws, and not really comparable to the generic use of the word maricon. Making harassing phone calls to a 10-year old is not in the same ballpark either. Do you really equate these things?
What's the line between "offensive" and "harassing"? If I only call your daughter once is it OK because it's only "offensive"? Is it only offensive if 100 people use "faggot" once, but harassment if one person uses it 100 times?

   96. Matthew E Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4239317)
What's the line between "offensive" and "harassing"?


I wonder if the difference isn't whether it's directed at someone or not. Like, if you're out with your family, and you walk past a guy who drops his ice cream on his foot, and the guy yells, out of perfectly understandable frustration, "Mother pus bucket!", you might (or might not!) find that offensive. But if a second guy came right up to you, stood about four feet in front of you, pointed right between your eyes, and said in a menacing tone, "Mother pus bucket!", you would probably find that harassing.

In the case of Escobar, his eyeblack was pretty obviously not directed at anyone in particular, with the theoretically possible exception of Escobar himself.
   97. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4239324)
I don't know where the line is, but its there, and any competent judge could find it.
   98. DevilInABlueCap Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4239328)
As a member of an historically oppressed class(TM), I come to speak for all black people (who are living in Brooklyn, at my address, and are my age and gender)! That is to say, if someone called me a n!gger, I would immediately think, "threat." This is because the word doesn't just exist in a vacuum, just like f*ggot doesn't exist in a vacuum. Similarly, if I were called a c*nt, I would also think, "threat" because that word has been used to denigrate women in a way to dehumanize them, and thus make violence against them ok. After all, she's not a lady or a woman, she's not like your wife, girlfriend, mother or sister, she's just a stupid c*nt. To say that this is about being offended is a very limited view. One person saying it once over our entire lives is very eh. But that's not what happens. What happens is that we hear the whispers of that word more than once. We hear it when we think about showing affection for our same sex partner in public, and we draw back. We hear it when we think about walking home at night by ourselves, or moving into a mostly white suburb. It's never just one person saying it one time. Every time it's said, it's part of a larger chorus that privileged people don't hear because they don't listen for it. (This is not the fault of privileged people; I was raised Christian, so I often don't hear anti-Semitic slurs, because they just don't apply to me. I'm also mostly straight, so I don't hear homophobic comments as clearly, and I'm not transgendered, so I definitely don't notice those unless they're overt. I don't think that makes me a bad person, just one who can't hear every "chorus" all the time.)
   99. DA Baracus Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4239331)
Guys it's okay, he's got gay friends!

3 game suspension, his salary during that time is being donated to You Can Play and the GLAAD.
   100. DevilInABlueCap Posted: September 18, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4239339)
Also, I find it a tad tiresome that members of groups that don't or haven't faced society-wide violence for being members of those groups spend a lot of time telling members of historically oppressed classes that what we're thinking or feeling is not legitimate until they say so. The way a group gets traction is to end the tiny cuts (the thousands we feel all the time) so we can tackle the bigger problems. Jackie playing baseball was a small thing in terms of humanity, but it was gigantic in terms of making black Americans feel like they were part of and deserved to be part of the country. No one would say that it was a waste of time to focus on a game when they were still bombing black homeowners in white communities. You fix the things you can when you can. Not being called a n!gger or a f*ggot in our offices or in the supermarket or on our way home is a small battle, but one that makes the big one possible.
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