Blue Jays’ Anthony Bass defends himself against anti-LGBTQ+ post that called for a boycott of Target and Bud Light – and insists it was NOT hateful
- Bass’ post urged people to reject American businesses supporting the LGBTQ+ community
- Target and Bud Light faced backlash over their ad campaigns during Pride Month
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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass says he doesn’t believe an anti-LGBTQ+ social media post he shared in May was hateful.
The right-handed reliever also said he was “working hard” to educate himself, including meeting the executive director of activist group Pride Toronto.
Bass is expected to catch Toronto LGBTQ+ activist Zlie Lee Kam’s ceremonial first pitch ahead of Friday’s game against Minnesota as the Blue Jays kick off their fourth annual Pride weekend celebration.
Bass apologized ahead of a May 30 game against Milwaukee, a day after sharing a post on his Instagram Stories calling for anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts from Target and Bud Light for the support they’ve shown the LGBTQ community +.
Both companies are dealing with the fallout from these campaigns, which have included hostile and homophobic criticism and calls from LGBTQ+ activists not to give in to anti-LGBTQ+ groups.
Bass has been booed by Toronto fans in his two home appearances since the apology.
“I completely understand,” Bass said. “I just want them to know that I work hard on myself, a lot of introspection.”
Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass has been booed by Toronto fans on his last two home outings
Bass shared an Instagram post calling for a boycott of a Bud Light ad featuring Dylan Mulvaney
Companies like Target advertised LGBTQ+ apparel for Pride Month, but received backlash
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 don’t know,” Bass said. ‘That’s why I originally posted it. Looking back on it, I can see how people would see it that way and that’s why I apologized.
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 for the team.
“But I stand by my personal beliefs,” Bass said, “and everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? Also, I don’t want to hurt any group of people.
“From the start, I should have focused on my job and accepted everyone’s decisions and opinions in life,” Bass added. “Through this process, I learned that. In the future, I will definitely know better than to post my personal beliefs on my social media platforms.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkin was ‘personally hurt’ by Bass’ post, but accepted pitcher’s apology
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins first broached the subject Thursday, shortly before Bass spoke.
While acknowledging he was “personally hurt” by Bass’s post, Atkins said he accepted the pitcher’s apology to him and manager John Schneider last month.
“I felt his apology and his accountability were genuine, otherwise we would be talking about a different outcome, quite frankly,” Atkins said. “It was absolutely necessary for us to be together with how confident we are of the progress the Toronto Blue Jays are making in this community.
“It has to continue,” Atkins added. I don’t think you can ever do enough. We will remain true to this commitment to make this environment as inclusive as possible.
Workers hung rainbow flags inside Rogers Center after Thursday’s victory over Houston, preparing the stadium for Friday’s celebrations.