Blue Jays fans relentlessly boo own player Anthony Bass after sharing anti-LGBTQ+ video

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Anthony Bass wears a white uniform and blue baseball cap as he throws a baseball somewhere off screen

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass was met by boos from baseball fans at his home stadium after the player reposted an anti-LGBTQ+ video on social media.

The relief pitcher shared a video on his Instagram story Monday (29 May) that was encouraging viewers to boycott Target and Bud Light because they support LGBTQ+ rights. This comes as both companies are dealing with right-wing pushback for their queer-inclusive campaigns. 

Though Bass later apologised for the post, the crowd roundly booed the pitcher as he ran out of the pen towards the mound on a Wednesday (31 May) game at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. It was Bass’ first appearance since sharing the anti-LGBTQ+ Instagram post. 

The fans’ ire began as Bass was warming up in the Blue Jays’ bullpen and surged in intensity as the reliever entered the game in the ninth inning, the Toronto Sun reported. 

The jeers increased in volume as Bass began to throw the ball and walked the first Milwaukee Brewers batter he pitched against. Then, every strike and out prompted more noise from the massive crowd. 

At the same time, eagle-eyed fans noticed Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, which is just outside the stadium, was lit up in the rainbow colours of the LGBTQ+ Pride flag as the world gears up to celebrate Pride Month. 

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The original video, which Bass then reposted onto his Instagram story, argued there’s a “reason biblically” why Christians should be “boycotting TargetBud Light and any other corporation that’s pushing” LGBTQ+ inclusion, the Toronto Star reported. 

The original poster called the boycott a pushback against so-called “evil” and “demonic” forces that are being shoved “into children’s faces”. 

In his apology, Anthony Bass said he was “truly sorry” and that he recognised the post was “hurtful to the Pride community”, which includes “friends” and “close family members” of his. 

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass wears a blue baseball uniform and matching cap with white trousers as holds his cap and a ball with one hand during a game
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass said he was “truly sorry” for sharing a “hurtful” anti-LGBTQ+ post on his Instagram story. (Getty)

Bass added he addressed teammates about the anti-LGBTQ+ post and apologised to them for sharing it on his social media. 

“As of right now, I am using the Blue Jays’ resources to better educate myself to make better decisions moving forward,” Bass said. 

“The ballpark is for everybody. We include all fans at the ballpark. We want to welcome everybody. That’s all I have to say.”

Blue Jays said Anthony Bass wont be disciplined for sharing the anti-LGBTQ+ post

Toronto manager John Schneider said the team isn’t “going to pretend like this never happened” and said that more steps would be required for Bass in the wake of the post. 

“We’re not going to pretend like it’s the end and move on,” Schneider said. “There are definitely more steps that are going to follow.”

The baseball team previously told the Toronto Star 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 read. 

“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.”

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