Last month, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass drew quite a lot of backlash when he re-shared an Instagram post that claimed Bud Light and Target were “evil” and “demonic” for their support of the LGBTQ community. As of Friday, he is no longer pitching for the Blue Jays.
Just hours before Anthony Bass was set to catch a ceremonial first pitch to kick off the team’s Pride Weekend, the team announced that they had designated him for assignment, essentially cutting him from the team.
The move comes after Bass defended his decision to re-share an Instagram post that called for a boycott of Target and Bud Light due to their support of the LGBTQ community. While Bass initially apologized for the post last month, he made it clear on Thursday that he actually stood by his beliefs.
“I stand by my personal beliefs,” Bass said according to the New York Times. “And everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? Also, I mean no harm towards any groups of people.”
Bass also said that he did not think what he shared was hateful.
“That’s why I posted it originally,” Bass said. “When I look back at it, I can see how people would view it that way and that’s why I was apologetic.”
The Jays cut him the next day. And it generated quite a stir on Twitter.
BREAKING: The @BlueJays fired Christian pitcher Anthony Bass earlier today.
On Pride night.
He said during a press brief yesterday that he stood by his “personal beliefs.” https://t.co/T2IY7tCP6O
— Katie Daviscourt (@KatieDaviscourt) June 10, 2023
Let this be a lesson: never ever apologize for your convictions and always double down. https://t.co/FFGcdORVqZ
— Andrew Torba (@BasedTorba) June 9, 2023
If only this was the fate of every coward https://t.co/lTPrAj6rJ8
— Jaron Carter (@JerbinFett) June 10, 2023
We have entered the Find Out portion of tonight's entertainment https://t.co/LhyXixz2v5
— Jen Weddell (@JenWeddell) June 9, 2023
It's funny how everyone telling reporters who are writing about Anthony Bass to "stick to baseball" is missing the fact that none of this would be happening if Anthony Bass had, quite literally, just stuck to baseball. #BlueJays
— Jenn Smith (@Baseball_Jenn) June 9, 2023
Wait, lmao… Anthony Bass is the same guy who complained about cleaning up after his kids on a plane?😭
— P (@paraaand) June 10, 2023
The best part is that Anthony Bass will now have more time to help his wife pick up popcorn on airplanes.
— Neil Before Zod™ (@WaytowichNeil) June 9, 2023
The that happens when you bring unwanted attention and distractions to the team
— Takuache 6ix9ine (@Takuache6ix9ine) June 9, 2023
So the Jays hid Bass from the press, he spoke to two reporters, Jays made him available to all Thursday, where he said a video that called LGBTQ people demonic wasn't hateful, then the club announced he would be involved in Pride Weekend, then DFAed him. Tour de force by the team https://t.co/yhiVS7JTXu
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) June 10, 2023
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Bass’ performance this season was the primary reason he was cut, though the “distraction” Bass caused due to his comments was “something we had to factor in.”
“There’s a myriad of variables, and performance is usually the driving one,” Atkins said. “Performance was a large aspect of this decision. Distraction was a small part of it, and something that we had to factor in.”