Toronto Blue Jays designate pitcher Anthony Bass for assignment after he shared an anti-LGBTQ+ post that called for boycott of Target and Bud Light
- Bass shared a post calling for anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts of Target and Bud Light
- He has since apologized but claimed he doesn’t believe the post was hateful
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Pitcher Anthony Bass has been listed for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays 11 days after he shared an anti-LGBTQ+ post on social media.
The right-handed reliever shared a post on his Instagram stories in May calling for anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts of Target and Bud Light over support they showed for the LGBTQ+ community.
The post described the sale of LGBTQ+ merchandise as ‘evil’ and ‘demonic’ with both companies recently releasing campaigns supporting the 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 fallout from Anheuser Busch’s decision to collaborate with actress Mulvaney saw the company lose an astonishing $27billion in just months.
The Blue Jays’ decision to designate him for assignment comes just hours before the first of the franchise’s two Pride nights at Rogers Centre with Toronto hosting the Minnesota Twins Friday.
Anthony Bass was listed for assignment by the Blue Jays after sharing an anti-LGBTQ post
Bass shared an Instagram post calling for a boycott of a Bud Light ad featuring Dylan Mulvaney
Businesses like Target advertised LGBTQ+ apparel for Pride Month but have received backlash
Bass was scheduled to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Toronto LGBTQ+ activist leZlie Lee Kam before Friday’s game against Minnesota as the Blue Jays begin their fourth annual Pride Weekend celebration.
Bass has a 4.95 ERA in 22 appearances out of the bullpen this season. The Blue Jays have reinstated pitcher Mitch White from the 60-day injured list in a corresponding roster move.
Bass has since apologized but claimed he doesn’t believe the anti-LGBTQ+ social media post he shared was hateful.
He was booed by Toronto fans in his two home appearances since the apology.
‘I totally get that,’ Bass said. ‘I just want them to know that I’m working hard on myself, a lot of self-reflection.’
However, Bass later said he didn’t believe the post, which described the sale of LGBTQ+ merchandise as ‘evil’ and ‘demonic,’ should be considered hateful.
‘I do not,’ Bass said. ‘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.’
Bass said he chose to delete the post because ‘it was the right thing to do,’ and because he didn’t want it to be a distraction to the team.
The Blue Jays have reinstated pitcher Mitch White from the 60-day injured list
The Blue Jays will host two Pride nights at Rogers Centre against the Twins this weekend
Bass was scheduled to catch the ceremonial first pitch from LGBTQ+ activist leZlie Lee Kam
‘But I stand by my personal beliefs,’ Bass said, ‘and everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? Also, I mean no harm towards any groups of people.
‘My focus from the get-go should have been doing my job and being accepting of everyone’s decisions and views in life,’ Bass added. ‘Through this process, I’ve learned that. Moving forward, I will definitely know better than to post my personal beliefs on my social media platforms.’
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins addressed the subject for the first time on Thursday, shortly before Bass spoke.
Blue Jays GM Ross Atkin was ‘personally hurt’ by Bass’ post but accepted the pitcher’s apology
While acknowledging that he was ‘personally hurt’ by Bass’s post, Atkins said he accepted the apology the pitcher offered to him and manager John Schneider last month.
‘I felt his apology and his accountability to be authentic or we would be talking about a different outcome, quite frankly,’ Atkins said. ‘That was absolutely necessary for us to be together with how strongly we feel about the progress that has been made by the Toronto Blue Jays in this community.
‘It needs to continue,’ Atkins added. ‘I don’t think you can ever do enough. We’ll stay true to that commitment to make this environment as inclusive as we possibly can.’
Workers were hanging rainbow flags inside Rogers Centre after Thursday’s win over Houston, preparing the stadium for Friday’s celebrations.