Anthony Bass booed loudly by fans during first Blue Jays game since controversial Instagram post
Published Thursday, June 1, 2023 11:50AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 1, 2023 11:50AM EDT
Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Anthony Bass was booed at the Rogers Centre after he was called onto the field Wednesday night.
It was Bass’ first appearance since he shared a controversial anti-LGBTQ2S+ video on his Instagram story earlier this week.
Some of the 42,205 fans in the stands jeered at Bass during the home game against the Milwaukee Brewers, who won 4-2 against the Blue Jays.
In one video shared on Twitter, some fans can be heard shouting, “Go back to Tampa! Go back to Florida!”
On Monday morning, Bass shared a video on his Instagram story from @dudewithgoodnews, a user who posts daily devotionals to his feed, which encouraged those of Christian faith to boycott Target.
“For those who don’t know, Target has begun pushing the message of transitioning to young people and teamed up with a Satanist to push pro-Satan clothing and pins to children. The enemy isn’t even hiding anymore,” the caption reads, calling the merchandise “evil” and “demonic” in the video.
After receiving a wave of backlash for sharing the video, Bass apologized for his actions, and told reporters, “The ballpark is for everybody.”
Bass said he recognized his post was “hurtful to the Pride community,” saying that includes some of his friends and close family members.
“I just spoke with my teammates and shared with them my actions yesterday and apologized with them, and as of right now, I’m using Blue Jays’ resources to better educate myself and make better decisions moving forward,” he said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
John Schneider, the Blue Jays manager, said Bass’ actions do not reflect the team’s views.
“An apology for one person goes so far and we’re gonna continue to do everything that we have done in the past to help support the Pride community,” Schneider told reporters on Tuesday, adding Bass’ apology was “remorseful.”
Next weekend, on June 9 and 10, the Blue Jays will be hosting their fourth annual Pride Weekend at Rogers Centre.
“Pride Toronto has a very good relationship with the Jays,” Pride Toronto's executive director Sherwin Modeste told The Canadian Press.
“I personally have worked very closely with the Jays Care Foundation and I know what they stand for because we have been part of this journey together. I don’t believe that one individual is going to change what the Jays are going to do and what the Jays have been doing for the community.”
With files from The Canadian Press