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The NFL and college football have banned eye-black messages. The college ban came after stars including Tim Tebow, who wrote Bible verses, and Reggie Bush, who put his hometown area code, began to use the eye-black to send messages.

“Mr. Escobar has admitted that his actions were a mistake and I am hopeful he can use this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to educate himself and others that intolerance has no place in our game or society,” Selig said in a statement.

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick commended the decision.

“Today’s actions show that MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays are committed to creating an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where discriminatory language and anti-gay attitudes are accepted,” Graddick said in a statement.

Anthopoulos said he had spent most of the day with Escobar at the commissioner’s office.

“I don’t know there’s a right way to deal with these things,” he said. “You’re not going to satisfy everyone.”

In May 2011, MLB suspended Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell for two weeks without pay for inappropriate comments and gestures with anti-gay and sexual overtones he made toward fans before a game in San Francisco.

In April, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for five games by his team because of comments that he loves Fidel Castro. Many Cuban-Americans were angered by the remarks.

On Tuesday, Guillen said he didn’t think Escobar meant to be offensive.

“I think he just did it for fun. I know he didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. Nobody is that stupid,” he said before the Marlins hosted Atlanta.

“In my house, we call (each other) that word every 20 seconds. I’ve got three kids,” Guillen said. “For us, it’s like `What’s up, bro? What’s up, dude?’ It’s how you say it and to who you say it. But that’s our country. We have to respect this country. Sometimes for us it’s funny, for other people it’s not.”

Escobar was traded from Atlanta to Toronto in July 2010. He is hitting .251 this season with nine home runs and 49 RBIs.

Escobar’s salary this year is $5 million. The Blue Jays have club options on him for 2014 and 2015.

After the news conference, Escobar walked back into the Toronto clubhouse and said little.

“You have to respect the way things work here,” Blue Jays pitcher Carlos Villanueva said. “But sometimes it has to happen in the first-person point of view for us to change the way we view things.

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