The Toronto Blue Jays made a significant announcement on Friday, stating that they were releasing pitcher Anthony Bass ahead of their upcoming Pride Weekend. This decision comes in the wake of a controversial social media post shared by Bass, which sparked considerable online uproar and led to a subsequent apology and promises of sensitivity training.
Last month, Bass shared a video without comment, posted by creator Ryan Miller, which utilized scripture to call Christians to boycott corporations that have shown support for the LGBTQ community during Pride Month. The act of sharing the video immediately garnered attention and criticism, prompting Bass to issue a modest apology to the press the following day, expressing his intention to undergo sensitivity training.
Just two days ago, the Blue Jays took a surprising turn by announcing that Bass would participate in the team’s Pride Weekend festivities by catching the first pitch. However, a change of heart occurred within the organization, leading to the decision to part ways with the 35-year-old reliever.
Prior to the game against the Houston Astros on Thursday, Bass addressed reporters, explaining that he shared the video because it resonated with his personal Christian beliefs. He maintained that he did not perceive the video as hateful but acknowledged that he could understand how others might view it that way, prompting his earlier apology.
Bass made it clear that he stood by his personal beliefs, stating that everyone is entitled to their own convictions. He emphasized that he bore no ill will towards any particular group and did not intend to cause harm.
One of my more popular comments was supporting Anthony Bass for being against LGBTQIAA+2S ideology since it doesn’t mean you’re anti-gay, just anti-political ideology. And he was fired this weekend after having to apologize for supporting Target boycotts. Never apologize. pic.twitter.com/mygT7LoU6v
— dan•splaining (@DANsplained0) June 10, 2023
During this season, Bass appeared in 22 games, posting a 4.95 ERA. While his performance on the field is a crucial factor in the Blue Jays’ decision, it is evident that the controversy surrounding his social media activity also played a role in the team’s ultimate choice to release him.
Here is the video of Anthony Bass, addressing the media.
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) May 30, 2023