Blue Jays fans are donating to LGBTQ charities in Anthony Bass' name

May 30 2023, 4:50 pm

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass took another leap in his apparent quest to make an enemy of baseball fans in Canada on Monday when the reliever shared a video on Instagram advocating for the boycott of Target and Bud Light over the brands’ support of LGBTQ equity.

Since the story broke on blogTO, the backlash to Bass’ social media activity has been overwhelming.

The Blue Jays made it crystal clear that Bass’ views do not represent the organization’s values, and fans have called en masse for the pitcher to be dealt, released, DFAd, or whatever it takes to make sure he never pitches in a Blue Jays uniform again.

As a large share of fans react to Bass’ latest missteps with calls to put him out to pasture, a smaller group is taking more constructive action in response to the pitcher’s support of right-wing boycotts.

In defiance of Bass’ apparent interpretation of Christianity, which many commenters on social media are characterizing as bigoted, a handful of Blue Jays fans have made donations to LGBTQ charitable organizations in the pitcher’s name.

Twitter user @KJay1122 got the ball rolling on Monday afternoon, donating $52 (in reference to Anthony Bass’ jersey number) to Toronto PFLAG on behalf of the pitcher, and encouraged others to do the same.

Shortly after that donation was shared on Twitter, lawyer and podcast host Michael Spratt followed the cue and donated another $52 on behalf of Bass, attaching some harsh words for the pitcher.

Spratt explained to blogTO that the donation works on two levels. “It provides some reparations for the harm that Mr. Bass has caused with his hateful and bigoted views. Secondly, and I think maybe even more importantly, is a way to communicate to the Blue Jays that it is unacceptable for them to be associated with a hateful bigot.”

Spratt adds, “I’m a huge baseball fan and a huge Blue Jays fan, and it disgusts me that I would wear the same ball cap or the same logo as someone [with these views] employed by the Blue Jays.”

Rev. Jeff Doucette, who holds a much more welcoming and inclusive take on Christianity than Bass, joined the trend with another donation in the pitcher’s name.

In the lead-up to Pride Month in Toronto, Jays fans are clearly stepping up in countering Bass’ bigoted message.

Twitter user @Katie_Kats1 donated to the ACLU in Bass’ home state of Michigan. She tells blogTO, “I am frustrated when I see public figures use their platform like this.”

“LGBTQ+ people are under threat right now and should be able to live in peace without rich a**holes making their lives harder. So I wanted to contribute to making their lives easier. Even though it was a small contribution, I was hoping I could inspire others to do the same.”

Bass removed the video from his Instagram feed shortly after the firestorm began on Monday, but he has since re-added it to his story, doubling down on his controversial views.

The original video clip from right-wing account “dudewithgoodnews” instructs people of Christian faith to boycott Target and Bud Light — the latter of which holds a sponsorship deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. It remains viewable on Bass’ Instagram as of Tuesday morning.

Even before sharing hateful propaganda, Bass had already earned somewhat of a reputation for his social media posting.

In April, the pitcher was trolled mercilessly for what was perceived as an entitled post calling out United Airlines staff for asking his wife to clean up popcorn strewn about the plane by their children.

He further incensed fans when he quote-tweeted an on-air segment by controversial right-wing pundit Tomi Lahren, who calls Bass a “friend.” Lahren (who is married to former Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia) has also been accused of promoting hate.

Jack LandauJack Landau

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