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Bluejays’ Escobar to Participate in Outreach Program

I have to give a shout out to the management team behind the Bluejays.  Today the news came out that Yunel Escobar will be receiving a three game suspension for wearing eye black with a homophobic slur scrawled into it.  The pay he would have generated during these games will be donated to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.  Escobar will also be undergoing sensitivity training, after which he will participate in an outreach initiative aimed at teaching others about sensitivity and tolerance towards the acronym community.

Escobar - slur in eye black

Image Source – Getty Images

You can read the official MLB article here:  http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120918&content_id=38609650&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

This was released Monday prior to today’s committee meeting:  http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120917&content_id=38585782&vkey=news_tor&c_id=tor

I’ve written about the steps being taken by Major League Baseball, and specifically certain MLB teams in the past…  and this just further demonstrates their commitment to equality.  It’s a good thing when people, so brightly spotlighted in the public arena are willing to take an obvious stand against discrimination and bullying.  All too often people report only on the negatives.  This may have become a story based on the ignorant actions of one man (who has since apologized and will be actively working to make things better) it has become a story of a team and an organization willing to do what is right, and that’s something worth noting.

A2Z – Jerseys & Jokes

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Jerseys & Jokes

 

Around here, sports are important…  especially hockey.  It’s a big part of Saskatchewan, and nowhere is that famous Prairie Machismo more apparent than in the locker room.  Or so I’ve been told.

Gay jokes run rampant, along with comments about the prissy nature of certain plays or players.  It’s a tough place to feel welcome as a member of the LGBTT2QIA community.  Any time your personhood is called into question, even if it’s done in jest (sometimes, especially so) it breaks you down.  After a while, it can all become too much.

In an effort to curtail this type of anti-gay banter and sentiment, Patrick Burke (in honor of his late brother, Brandon Burke) began a campaign we now know as “You Can Play”.  At it’s very heart all it states is that if you can play, you can play.  Nothing else matters.  It’s something we all needed to hear, and continue to have reinforced.

I encourage you to take a minute to read this article Burke wrote about his brother, the decision to come out, and how it affected all their lives.  It is well worth the read, every encouraging paragraph:  Never Forgotten, Patrick Burke Remembers his Pioneering Brother.

For more on You Can Play, check out these links:

So next time you’re about to make a joke about how gay someone or something is, stop and think.  Just because others do it, doesn’t make it okay.  In fact, it’s NOT okay – and people are finally starting to get it.  The locker room should be a place of camaraderie, of solidarity… not of exclusion and loathing.

 

 

the april alphabet blog challenge

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