The Toronto Blue Jays cut pitcher Anthony Bass just one day after he stood by a post he shared defending his faith and supporting ongoing conservative boycotts.
Bass reposted a video to his Instagram story discussing “the biblical reason Christians should boycott Target” and companies like Bud Light.
“Here’s the reason biblically why I believe Christians have gotta be boycotting Target, Bud Light, and any other corporation that’s pushing the things they’re pushing,” the video said.
The video’s creator then quoted a biblical verse and pledged to “expose the darkness [Target] is shoving into children’s faces.”
The video’s description read, in part, “Target has begun pushing the message of transitioning to young people.”
Bass was compelled by the organization to apologize the day after reposting the video, saying, “I recognize yesterday I made a post that was hurtful to the Pride community, which includes friends of mine and close family members of mine.”
He promised to “educate himself” using “the Blue Jays’ resources” going forward.
Comments Became a ‘Distraction’
On Thursday, when questioned by reporters before a game in Houston, Bass reiterated that he was “working hard” to educate himself, including meeting with activist group Pride Toronto.
However, he also said he stood by his “personal beliefs”.
That was enough for the Blue Jays to cut him the very next day, when he was set to catch a ceremonial first pitch from Toronto LGBTQ+ activist leZlie Lee Kam.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins was hesitant to admit Bass was let go for his comments.
“There’s a myriad of variables,” Atkins said. “Performance is usually the driving one and performance was a large aspect of this decision. Distraction was a small part of it and something we had to factor in.”
Bass is not the only pitcher to comment on social issues. Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and Washington Nationals pitcher Trevor Williams each criticized the Los Angeles Dodgers for honoring a drag troupe that mocks Christianity.