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Jays Cut Anthony Bass After Saying He Didn’t Think His Anti-LGBTQ+ Post Was Hateful


Jays Cut Anthony Bass After Saying He Didn’t Think His Anti-LGBTQ+ Post Was Hateful

The Toronto Blue Jays cut pitcher Anthony Bass on Friday, one day after the right-handed reliever said he didn’t think an anti-LGBTQ+ video he shared on Instagram last month was hateful.

The move came hours before the Blue Jays’ first game of Pride Weekend where Bass was expected to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Toronto LGBTQ activist leZlie Lee Kam.

The team now has seven days to trade Bass or put him on waivers.

On May 29, Bass shared a post on his Instagram calling for anti-LGBTQ boycotts of Target and Bud Light over support they showed for the LGBTQ community. The video used the phrase “this is evil, this is demonic” in regard to selling Pride-themed merchandise. A day later, Bass apologized for the post and vowed to use the Blue Jays’ “resources” to better educate himself on the issue.

Bass was booed by Toronto fans in his two home appearances following the apology.

Speaking to members of the media before Thursday’s win over Houston, Bass said he stood by his “personal beliefs” while repeatedly referring to the LGBTQ+ community as the “Pride community.”

“It definitely shed light on the Pride community for me,” he said. “I have my personal beliefs, but I understand that everyone’s free to feel and think the way they want and in being accepting, welcoming and making people feel comfortable to make a decision in their lives. To be more accepting of it definitely was something I self-reflected on and realized that I need to be better at.”

Bass said he initially posted the video multiple times because “the video reflected my (Christian) beliefs.”

However, he later said he didn’t believe the post, which described the sale of LGBTQIA+ merchandise as “evil” and “demonic,” should be considered hateful, according to NBC News.

“I do not,” Bass said to reporters. “That’s why I posted it originally. When I look back at it, I can see how people would view it that way and that’s why I was apologetic.”

Asked if his views on the message of the video had changed in the past 10 days, Bass said: “The video itself, obviously, I took it down. I just felt like it was too much of a distraction, right? But I stand by my personal beliefs and everyone’s entitled to their personal beliefs, right? But also I mean no harm toward any groups of people. And I felt like taking that down the second time was the right thing to do and not being a distraction. As a team, our job is to win baseball games. And that’s my focus.”

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