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Blue Jays DFA Anthony Bass ahead of Pride Weekend following social media controversy

Bass shared an anti-LGBTQIA+ post on social media in May that he later apologized for.

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Anthony Bass of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a statement to the media before playing the Milwaukee Brewers in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on May 30, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays have designated reliever Anthony Bass for assignment, just days ahead of the team’s Pride Weekend celebration and after Bass shared a post on social media last month that called the sale of LGBTQIA+ apparel “evil” and “demonic.”

The righty quickly apologized, saying that he was “working hard” to educate himself, although he added that he didn’t think the post in question was hateful.

“I do not,” Bass told reporters. “That’s why I posted it originally. When I look back at it, I can see how people would view it that way and that’s why I was apologetic.”

The team accepted his apology, with GM Ross Atkins saying that “I felt his apology and his accountability to be authentic or we would be talking about a different outcome, quite frankly.” Fans, however, weren’t having it, even booing Bass over two appearances in his home ballpark. In an effort to smooth things over, Toronto had planned to have the 35-year-old catch the ceremonial first pitch from Toronto LGBTQIA+ activist leZlie Lee Kam before Friday’s game against the Minnesota Twins.

But that plan hadn’t been well-received, at least if the internet is any indication, and after Bass gave up two runs in his latest outing on Monday the team decided that it had seen enough.

“Performance was a large aspect of the decision,” Atkins said of the move. “Distraction was a small part of it and something we had to factor in.”

On Thursday, Bass said that he deleted the post because “it was the right thing to do,” and he didn’t want to be a distraction to his teammates.

“But I stand by my personal beliefs,” Bass added. “And everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? Also, I mean no harm towards any groups of people.

“My focus from the get-go should have been doing my job and being accepting of everyone’s decisions and views in life. 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.”

The veteran right-hander has recorded a 4.95 ERA in 22 appearances during the 2023 season with Toronto. Bass has also spent time with the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers throughout his 12-year MLB career.