Kevin Pillar and the Toronto Blue Jays are in damage control.
A day after the talented centre fielder apparently uttered a homophobic slur towards Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte, Pillar issued a public apology on his personal Twitter account.
“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 organization in this position. I have apologized 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’s despicable comments came after he was struck out by Motte in the seventh inning against Atlanta. The Braves pitcher fast-pitched Pillar, and the Jays’ centre fielder was unimpressed.
— The National (@CBCTheNational) May 18, 2017
Pillar apologized post-game on Wednesday, though he seemed to do more explaining than apologizing.
The Blue Jays, for their part, have also released a statement.
“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, not 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.
“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.”
*Update: Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins has announced that the team has suspended Pillar for two games.
JaYs suspend Pillar for two games. Per Atkins
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) May 18, 2017