Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass stirred controversy after posting a video on Instagram that encouraged boycotting Target and Bud Light over their trans and pro-LGBT stances but has since issued a groveling apology for doing so.
(Video Credit: CP24)
Bass issued the apology on Tuesday and did not take any questions afterward. The 35-year-old reliever asserted that his actions were “hurtful to the Pride community.”
“I’ll make this quick,” Bass said. “I recognize yesterday that I made a post that was hurtful to the Pride community, which includes friends of mine and close family members of mine, and I am truly sorry for that.
“I just spoke with my teammates and shared with them my actions yesterday. I apologized with them and, as of right now, I am using the Blue Jays’ resources to better educate myself to make better decisions moving forward. The ballpark is for everybody. We include all fans at the ballpark, and we want to welcome everybody. That’s all I have to say,” Bass commented, sounding as if management had called him out for his stance and his apology was scripted.
According to Fox News, the video that Bass shared came from someone named Ryan Miller who called on Christians to join the boycotts after Target faced massive backlash over its Pride Month collection. That followed Bud Light’s disastrous partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in March.
Statement from Anthony Bass: pic.twitter.com/UXLrx1HVO5
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 30, 2023
Manager John Schneider said Bass apologized to him and general manager Ross Atkins when he arrived at the ballpark on Tuesday. Schneider then allegedly prodded Bass to speak with the team.
Bass’ apology was a “first step” in all this, according to Schneider.
“It’s not going to be a 15 or 30-second apology and say, ‘OK, I did my part,’ ” the manager told reporters on Tuesday according to the New York Post. “There’s going to be continued work with the resources we do have to try to show that he’s understanding that he made a mistake.”
“We’re going to continue to make the Rogers Center a very welcoming place for everyone to come to,” he declared. “It doesn’t reflect our views as an organization.”
Before Bass apologized, the Blue Jays issued a statement contending that “individual player sentiments are not representative of the club’s beliefs.”
“The Blue Jays bring millions of fans together across Canada and are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming experience for all,” the statement added. “The Blue Jays are proud to celebrate LGBTQ2S+ Pride Month, including a special fourth annual Pride Weekend at the ballpark June 9 and 10, and demonstrations of allyship all month long around the ballpark.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the original video on Bass’ Instagram account was no longer there.
People watching the spectacle helpfully suggested that Bass “grow a pair”:
Oh my god dude grow a pair and stick up for yourself
— Bronx Hawk (@Yankee_Hawk) May 30, 2023
Hostage video quality. Don’t need pride days at the ballpark don’t need faith days either. Just want to watch some baseball.
— The Ancient Faith K9 (@DumbDog7) May 30, 2023
I wouldn’t tweet out his statement – it’s actually exacerbating and inflaming the situation because it’s insincere, scripted and can’t even identify the community he harmed appropriately. I would have left this as his statement to disseminate if he wished. You’re not getting this
— Anita Szigeti (@pouchbaby) May 30, 2023
What a terrible apology. Hope whoever wrote it for him feels the same cringe I just felt listening to Bass.
— Chris (@ChrisGansler) May 30, 2023
Looks like a hostage video. Congrats on getting a Christian scalp, Blue Jays.
— FugitiveMama (@fugitivemama) May 30, 2023
“2+2 = 5. I love Big Brother”.
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) May 31, 2023
Dude sounds like he just got back from a Chinese re-education camp
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) May 31, 2023
How shameful you force him to make this idiotic statement and apologize for his beliefs
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 30, 2023
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