Suspension or a fine have been suggested as punishment for a Canadian Major League Baseball player who participated in a game, with a homophobic slur written on his face.

Yunel Escobar, 29, of the Toronto Blue Jays, wore eyeblack, emblazoned with the words “tu ere” and “maricon”, which translates loosely into English as “You are a faggot”, AOL reported.

The image of the shortstop, can be viewed here, courtesy of Twitter user @James_in_TO.

It has been argued by some fans that Spanish speaking players sometimes use the word “maricon” as a sort of generic insult, but others have said that because of the word it translates to, he should be punished for using it.

Some have even suggested that Mr Escobar was victim of a joke, and that perhaps he didn’t know what was written on his eyeblack, but others have argued that teammates, or coaches, should have asked him to remove it before he entered play.

Critics have said that the team is at fault, as well as Mr Escobar, as the message could have caused serious offence to some.

Eyeblack is a grease which is worn by sporting professionals, which is supposed to reduce the glare from the sun, and therefore increase visibility.

Many sportspeople personalise this with a message, or more modern versions include a logo or team name.

In the US last week, a college football player spoke out after he was allegedly kicked off his team for kissing his boyfriend at a match he attended.

Before that, Brendon Ayanbadejo, a professional American football player was surrounded by controversy, as his club was asked by Delegate Emmett C Burns Jr to reprimand him for standing up for equal marriage rights.