Toronto Blue Jays designate pitcher Anthony Bass for assignment after sharing anti-LGBTQ+ post calling for boycott of Target and Bud Light
- Bass shared a post calling for anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts from Target and Bud Light
- He has since apologized but said he did not believe the message was hateful
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Pitcher Anthony Bass was named for an assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays 11 days after he shared an anti-LGBTQ+ message on social media.
The right-handed reliever shared a post on his Instagram Stories in May calling for anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts from Target and Bud Light for the support they’ve shown the LGBTQ+ community.
The post described the sale of LGBTQ+ merchandise as “evil” and “demonic”, with both companies having recently launched community support campaigns.
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. The fallout from Anheuser Busch’s decision to collaborate with actress Mulvaney saw the company lose $27 billion in just a few months.
The Blue Jays’ decision to nominate him for an assignment comes just hours before the franchise’s first of two Pride nights at Rogers Center, with Toronto hosting the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
Anthony Bass was nominated for an assignment by the Blue Jays after sharing an anti-LGBTQ message
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
Bass was expected to catch Toronto LGBTQ+ activist Zlie Lee Kam’s ceremonial first pitch ahead of Friday’s game against Minnesota as the Blue Jays begin their fourth annual Pride weekend celebration.
WHAT DOES DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT MEAN?
When a player is nominated for assignment by an MLB team, they are immediately removed from the 40-player roster.
Within seven days of the transaction, the player can either be traded or given an irrevocable outright waiver.
If a player is claimed for waivers by another team, they are automatically added to their 40-player roster and either optioned to the minor leagues or added to the 26-player major roster.
If the player clears waivers, he can be sent straight to the minor leagues or released.
Bass has a 4.95 ERA in 22 appearances out of the bullpen this season. The Blue Jays reinstated pitcher Mitch White from the 60-day injured roster in a corresponding roster move.
Bass has since apologized, but said he doesn’t believe the anti-LGBTQ+ social media post he shared was hateful.
He 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.”
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 Atkins first broached the subject Thursday, shortly before Bass spoke.
Blue Jays reinstated pitcher Mitch White from 60-day injured list
The Blue Jays will host two Pride nights at the Rogers Center against the Twins this weekend
Bass was scheduled to attend the ceremonial first pitch of LGBTQ+ activist leZlie Lee Kam
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkin was ‘personally hurt’ by Bass’ post, but accepted pitcher’s apology
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.