Toronto Blue Jays baseball player Kevin Pillar apologises for homophobic slur

A baseball player who made a homophobic slur live on TV has apologised.

Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar appeared to shout “you faggot” at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte after he was struck out.

Players surged onto the field both to defend and to confront Pillar, who is now being investigated by Major League Baseball, after the incident.

Kevin Pillar

Taking to Twitter, Pillar released a statement apologising for his actions, noting LGBTQ fans and saying he wanted to “better himself”.

He wrote: “Last night, following my at-bat in the 7th inning, I used inappropriate language towards Braves pitcher Jason Motte. By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today.

“I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organizion in this position. I have apologiszed personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night. This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.”

Pillar had already said he would apologise to Motte following the match, saying his comment was “stupid” and “immature”.

The Blue Jays also issued a statement apologising on behalf of Pillar to fans and LGBTQ people.

It reads: “The Toronto Blue Jays are extremely disappointed by the comments made by Kevin Pillar following his at-bat during the 7th inning of last night’s game. In no way is this kind of behaviour accepted or tolerated, nor is it a reflection of the type of inclusive organization we strive to be.

“We would like to extend our own apologies to all fans, Major League Baseball and especially the LGBTQ community.

Adding: “We know Kevin to be a respectful, high-character individual who we hope will learn from this situation and continue to positively contribute and live up to our values on and off the field.”

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.