Pride Flag

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.

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.”

[New York Times]