Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Anthony Bass is perhaps more known for his protracted popcorn-related controversy and friendships with far-right personalities these days than for his actual pitching, and he just pissed off a portion of the fanbase yet again by posting a video endorsing the boycott of embattled brands Target and Bud Light.
Bass shared an Instagram story on Monday morning, pulled from the account “dudewithgoodnews,” which instructs people of the Christian faith to boycott Target and Bud Light due to the brands’ support of LGBTQ rights.
Let’s see what Anthony Bass is up to on Instagram pic.twitter.com/Ppv4Ubx1S1
— whyjays believer (@JohnnyGiuntaa) May 29, 2023
In the clip shared by Bass, the original poster of the video states, “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. I think a lot of people make this into a political issue, or they say ‘Oh what’s the big deal?'”
Target and Bud Light have been at the forefront of a controversy fuelled by conservative and alt-right US media outlets.
Target has faced backlash from conservatives over its sale of Pride-themed products, which those on the right have attempted to characterize as a vast conspiracy to influence children’s self-identity.
Similarly, Bud Light has also been a target of right-wing pundits and politically-charged boycotts over its April marketing partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Anthony Bass seemingly confirmed his placement on the political spectrum today after speculation on the topic was ignited back in April, when controversial Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren referred to the pitcher as a friend in an on-air segment defending Bass in the then-raging popcorn controversy.
Anthony Bass is on a personal journey to be the most hated Blue Jay in history
— Viv (@hummusishome) May 29, 2023
Many are only just catching wind of Bass’ Instagram post (the pitcher deleted his Twitter account amid the popcorn backlash), so it’s not so easy to gauge the public reaction. However, there seem to be more comments slamming Bass than defending him for this take.
Checks out this guy hasn’t hit a Target in months
— Patrick West (@thepatr1ckwest) May 29, 2023
One commenter specifically wonders how Bass will handle the situation when the Blue Jays celebrate the launch of Pride Month in less than two weeks.
he’s gonna hate to be a Blue Jay on June 9th
— b (@__bwhy__) May 29, 2023
The Toronto Blue Jays provided a statement to blogTO, saying that “Individual player sentiments are not representative of the club’s beliefs,” while maintaining the team’s commitment to “providing an inclusive and welcoming experience for all.”
The statement highlights the team’s celebration of Pride Month, “including a special fourth annual Pride Weekend at the ballpark June 9 and 10, and demonstrations of allyship all month long around the ballpark.”
Bass has since removed the offending reel from his Instagram story, though the team has not indicated that this was done at the behest of the Blue Jays organization.