Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Anthony Bass was met with a loud chorus of boos at the Rogers Centre after he was called onto the field Wednesday night.
It was Bass’ first appearance since he shared an anti-LGBTQ+ video on his Instagram story earlier this week.
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness) June 1, 2023
On Monday morning, Bass shared a video on his Instagram story from @dudewithgoodnews, who encouraged Christians to boycott Target over an LGBTQ+ campaign he described as “evil” and “demonic,” and being shoved “into children’s faces.”
Some of the 42,205 fans in the stands jeered at Bass during the home game against the Milwaukee Brewers. In one video shared to social media, a fan can be heard shouting, “Go back to Tampa! Go back to Florida!”
— Justin Havelock 🏳️🌈 (@HavelockJustin) June 1, 2023
Later Tuesday afternoon, Bass told reporters that he was sorry for sharing the homophobic post.
“I recognize yesterday I made a post that was hurtful to the Pride community, which includes friends of mine and close family members of mine, and I’m truly sorry for that,” Bass said in a brief statement to the media.
The pitcher said he was using the Blue Jays’ resources to “better educate” himself to “make better decisions going forward.”
“The ballpark is for everybody,” Bass continued. “We include all fans at the ballpark and we want to welcome everybody.”
John Schneider, the Blue Jays manager, said Bass’ actions do not reflect the team’s views.
“An apology for one person goes so far and we’re gonna continue to do everything that we have done in the past to help support the Pride community,” Schneider told reporters on Tuesday, adding Bass’ apology was “remorseful.”
Next weekend, on June 9 and 10, the Blue Jays will be hosting their fourth annual Pride Weekend at Rogers Centre.
“Pride Toronto has a very good relationship with the Jays,” Pride Toronto’s executive director Sherwin Modeste told The Canadian Press.
“I personally have worked very closely with the Jays Care Foundation and I know what they stand for because we have been part of this journey together. I don’t believe that one individual is going to change what the Jays are going to do and what the Jays have been doing for the community.”
Anthony Bass, pitching under a rainbow CN Tower comes out to a chorus of boos pic.twitter.com/HDNn6zdmsl
— Michie⁷ (@garciamichie) June 1, 2023