TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass apologized Tuesday for expressing support on social media for anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts of Target and Bud Light.
Bass shared a post on his Instagram stories Monday urging others to spurn the American companies over support they showed for the LGBTQ+ community. Both companies are dealing with fallout from those campaigns, which have included hostile and homophobic criticisms and calls from LGBTQ+ activists not to cave to anti-LGBTQ+ groups.
The right-handed reliever made a brief statement on the field but did not take questions before the Blue Jays hosted Milwaukee.
“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,” Bass said. “I am truly sorry for that.”
Bass said he had addressed teammates about the controversial post and apologized to them for sharing it.
“As of right now, I am using the Blue Jays’ resources to better educate myself to make better decisions moving forward,” Bass said. “The ballpark is for everybody. We include all fans at the ballpark. We want to welcome everybody. That’s all I have to say.”
Manager John Schneider said Bass apologized to him and general manager Ross Atkins when he arrived at the ballpark Tuesday. Schneider suggested Bass speak to the team.
June is Pride Month in Toronto, with an accompanying festival that is one of the largest of any kind in Ontario. More than 200,000 marchers and over two million spectators are expected at Toronto’s annual Pride Parade on June 25.
Schneider said Bass’s post “doesn’t represent our overall feelings as an organization.”
The Blue Jays are celebrating Pride Weekend on Friday June 9 and 10, with plans to give out 15,000 rainbow flag jerseys on Friday night.
“The message to the fan base is that we have and will continue to be a huge part of the Pride community,” Schneider said.
Schneider said the Blue Jays did not discuss disciplining Bass.
Pride Nights have prompted division across sports in recent years. On Monday, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw told The Los Angeles Times that he disagreed with his team's recent decision to welcome a satirical LGBTQ+ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at the team’s annual Pride Night. Last season, several players with the Tampa Bay Rays cited their Christian faith in refusing to wear Pride jerseys.
Earlier this year, Bass sparked criticism when he posted a tweet complaining that a flight attendant had asked his pregnant wife to clean up popcorn their toddler spilled on the floor during a flight.
Now in his 12th season, Bass has also pitched for San Diego, Houston, Texas, the Chicago Cubs, Seattle and Miami. He’s 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 20 games this season.