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I'm SORRY

For Anti-Gay Message

9/18/2012 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

091812_escobar_launchToronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar has just apologized for displaying a homophobic message ON HIS FACE during a recent game ... telling his fans, "honestly, I’m sorry."

29-year-old Escobar was hit with a 3 game suspension for decorating his eye black patches with the Spanish word for f**got" -- which he wore during Saturday's game against Boston (below).

Yunel Escobar's eye black with a gay slur.Moments ago, Escobar addressed the media ... and explained, "I feel bad, I’m leaving my team for something I didn’t intend to do. I have nothing against the gay community and honestly I’m sorry."

He claimed, "It was just a joke and it wasn’t directed to anyone in particular."

Escobar says the phrase has a different meaning in Spanish ... but when asked to clarify what it meant to him or why he wrote it ... he couldn't come up with a real answer.

Escobar will forfeit his salary for the games he will miss -- with portions of the money reportedly going to GLAAD ... a powerful gay rights organization.

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