Baseball player investigated for alleged homophobic slur on live TV

Kevin Pillar

A baseball player has been accused of homophobia after appearing to use a gay slur on live TV.

Last night, Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar seemed to shout “you faggot” at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte after he struck him out.

Motte reacted angrily to the alleged slur, which caused the benches to empty as players surged onto the field to either confront or defend Pillar.

Major League Baseball has announced that it is investigating the incident.

After the game, Pillar said he would reach out to Motte and apologise, referring to his comment as “stupid” and “immature” without explicitly admitting to what he had said.

“I think it just stems from a little frustration in myself and just the way this series has been going,” Pillar said, according to journalist Gregor Chisholm‏.

“It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for. It’s part of the game, it’s just, I’m a competitive guy and a heat of the moment.

“Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologise and let him know the didn’t do anything wrong, it was all me.

“Obviously something to learn from, something to move on from.

“Don’t let it define me but really I think it was just frustration from coming off a really good homestand and really just not even being in any of these ball games, just coming out flat and not being able to build on what we were able to build on against Seattle.

“That just all came out in that moment.”

This is not the first time the Blue Jays has been embroiled in controversy over one of its players being homophobic.

In 2012, Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar entered the field wearing eye black emblazoned with the phrase “tu ere maricon,” which is Spanish for “you are a faggot”.

Escobar was given a three-game suspension, with his pay from those weeks – an estimated $92,000 – donated to LGBT organisations You Can Play and GLAAD.

He also agreed to complete a sensitivity training program.

In March, David Denson, the first top-tier baseball player to come out as gay, retired from the sport at 22.

The fomer Milwaukee Brewers player came out in 2015 to wide acclaim.