The Blue Jays have designated outspoken Christian pitcher Anthony Bass for reassignment, officially removing him from their 40-man roster on the first night of their annual Pride Weekend, the team announced Friday on Twitter.
Bass, who recently came under fire for an Instagram post supporting a boycott on Bud Light and Target, was scheduled to catch the ceremonial first pitch from LGBTQ activist leZlie Lee Kam on Friday night, ESPN reported.
🔹 RHP Mitch White has been reinstated from the 60-day IL and will be active for tonight’s game
🔹 RHP Anthony Bass has been designated for assignment pic.twitter.com/O36mqtPENc
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 9, 2023
The furor over Bass arose after he shared a video May 29 urging his followers to boycott Target and Bud Light. He apologized the next day. “I recognize yesterday I made a post which was hurtful to the Pride community, which includes friends of mine, close family members of mine, and I am truly sorry for that,” Bass said in a statement to the press.
“As of right now I’m using the Blue Jays resources to better educate myself, to make better decisions moving forward. The ballpark is for everybody. We include all fans at the ballpark,” he continued. (RELATED: ‘Are You Kidding Me?!?!’: Blue Jays Pitcher Anthony Bass Gets Ratioed After Social Media Tantrum)
Statement from Anthony Bass: pic.twitter.com/UXLrx1HVO5
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 30, 2023
Bass also insisted he didn’t believe the video he shared was hateful. “That’s why I posted it originally,” he told reporters, according to ESPN690. “When I look back at it, I can see how people would view it that way and that’s why I was apologetic. But I stand by my personal beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? Also, I mean no harm towards any groups of people.”
Bass also lamented that the incident was apparently a distraction for his team, saying, “My focus from the get-go should have been doing my job and being accepting of everyone’s decisions and views in life,” he added, according to the outlet. “Through this process, I’ve learned that. Moving forward, I will definitely know better than to post my personal beliefs on my social media platforms.”
Bass’ designation means he will have to pass through irrevocable waivers, which will give any of the MLB’s other 29 teams a chance to claim him, before he can be placed on the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliate team.