Home News Blue Jays’ Anthony Bass to catch first pitch at Pride Weekend

Blue Jays’ Anthony Bass to catch first pitch at Pride Weekend

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Amid all the controversy around Anthony Bass, the Blue Jays have plans to include him as a major part of their upcoming Pride Weekend.

The Toronto reliever, who’s faced widespread criticism for an anti-LGBTQ+ social media post, will catch the ceremonial first pitch of Friday’s game, according to an MLB.com on Thursday.

Bass has been embroiled in drama after sharing a post on his Instagram story on May 29 that urged boycotts against Target and Bud Light after the companies’ respective LGBTQ+ campaigns.

The video he shared tried to explain “the biblical reason Christians” should boycott Target and Bud Light. 

Target has sold Pride and LGBTQ+ merchandise while Bud Light partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The Blue Jays reliever, who since apologized for the post on his story but was booed by fans at Rogers Centre, said he sat down with Pride Toronto executive director Sherwin Modeste and called the meeting “productive.”

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass (52) pitches to the Houston Astros during the fifth inning at Rogers Centre.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

“Before I said anything, I really wanted just to listen to what he had to say. Those were my intentions going into the meeting, and I felt like it was very productive,” Bass said of the meeting, according to reports.

Bass also told reporters said he will be more cognizant of what he posts to his personal social media accounts.

“My focus should be doing my job and being accepting of everyone’s decisions and views in life,” Bass said, according to MLB.com. “Through this process, moving forward, I’ll definitely know better than to post my personal beliefs on my social media platforms.”

Bass issued a statement last week in which he apologized for the post that was “hurtful to the Pride community” and told reporters that he had been using team resources to better educate himself.

Blue Jays manager John Schneider said the apology was a “first step,” but it would take more than Bass’ initial words to make things right. 

Bass has sat down with manager John Schneider and GM Ross Atkins.
Bass has sat down with manager John Schneider and GM Ross Atkins.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Bass told reporters Thursday that he defends what he believes in, but the post he shared had become “a distraction.”

“I felt like it was too much of a distraction,” Bass said. “I stand by my personal beliefs and everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? But I also mean no harm to any groups of people.”

General manager Ross Atkins addressed Toronto media for the first time since Bass’ post and said he was “personally hurt” by what was shared on Instagram.

Atkins and Schneider both sat down with the right-hander in what was called “a very charged exchange.”

“For creating any harm and for hurting others,” Atkins said about why Bass apologized, according to multiple reports. “It was not his intent. His emotion was very strong, as was mine. I was personally hurt myself. He felt my disappointment and anger. It was a very charged exchange.”

Atkins did appear to be optimistic that Bass had learned things from his recent meetings with the team and Pride Toronto.

Anthony Bass has since apologized for his anti-LGBTQ+ post on social media.
Getty Images

Though when Bass was asked if he felt the video was hateful, he responded, “I do not.”

“That’s why I posted it originally. When I look back at it, I can see how people would view it that way and that’s why I was apologetic,” Bass added

During Friday and Saturday’s games, the Blue Jays plan to wear rainbow flag jerseys.

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