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Blue Jays suspend Kevin Pillar for two games over anti-gay slur

Joseph McCormick May 18, 2017
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TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 14: Kevin Pillar #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning in game five of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 14, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays have suspended player Kevin Pillar after he used an anti-gay slur during a game.

Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar appeared to shout “you faggot” at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte after he was struck out.

Players surged onto the field both to defend and to confront Pillar, who is now being investigated by Major League Baseball, after the incident.

Shi Davidi's tweet about the Blue Jays

Earlier today Pillar and the Blue Jays both issued apologies.

Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi tweeted that the Blue Jays had suspended Pillar for two games over the slur.

Taking to Twitter, Pillar released a statement apologising for his actions, noting LGBTQ fans and saying he wanted to “better himself”.

He wrote: “Last night, following my at-bat in the 7th inning, I used inappropriate language towards Braves pitcher Jason Motte. By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today.

“I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organizion in this position. I have apologiszed personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night. This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.”

Pillar had already said he would apologise to Motte following the match, saying his comment was “stupid” and “immature”.

The Blue Jays also issued a statement apologising on behalf of Pillar to fans and LGBTQ people.

It reads: “The Toronto Blue Jays are extremely disappointed by the comments made by Kevin Pillar following his at-bat during the 7th inning of last night’s game. In no way is this kind of behaviour accepted or tolerated, nor is it a reflection of the type of inclusive organization we strive to be.

“We would like to extend our own apologies to all fans, Major League Baseball and especially the LGBTQ community.

Adding: “We know Kevin to be a respectful, high-character individual who we hope will learn from this situation and continue to positively contribute and live up to our values on and off the field.”

He also agreed to complete a sensitivity training program.

In March, David Denson, the first top-tier baseball player to come out as gay, retired from the sport at 22.

The fomer Milwaukee Brewers player came out in 2015 to wide acclaim.

Related topics: Americas, baseball, Canada, Canada, Homophobia, major league baseball, slur, sport, suspension, toronto blue jays

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