On Wednesday, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar took exception to Atlanta Braves hurler Jason Motte‘s perceived attempt to quick pitch him, and subsequently shouted an anti-gay slur his way after Motte struck him out later in the at-bat.
— The National (@CBCTheNational) May 18, 2017
Pillar apologized to Motte personally and also released an official statement via Twitter.
— Kevin Pillar (@KPILLAR4) May 18, 2017
The Blue Jays released an official statement of their own regarding the incident.
Statement from the Toronto Blue Jays. pic.twitter.com/ASZuzUM6RM
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 18, 2017
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 behavior accepted or tolerated, nor 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.
Apparently, Pillar’s apology wasn’t enough. The Blue Jays suspended their speedy center fielder for two games on Thursday.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) May 18, 2017
ATLANTA (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games Thursday for yelling an anti-gay slur at a Braves pitcher.
The Blue Jays suspended Pillar without pay shortly after he apologized in a statement, saying he was “completely and utterly embarrassed” by the word he directed at Jason Motte.
Pillar was angry at Motte for allegedly quick-pitching him to get a strikeout that ended the seventh inning in Atlanta’s 8-4 victory Wednesday night .
Replays appeared to show Pillar using the slur as he shouted toward the mound. After what he described as a sleepless night, the player acknowledged his wrongdoing.
“I regret saying it,” Pillar told reporters at SunTrust Park a few hours before the finale of a four-game series against the Braves. “I’m going to use myself as an example of how there are words out there you can’t use. It’s not a word I use ever. … It’s something that just came out.”
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins flew to Atlanta to apologize on behalf of the organization and announce the suspension, which he said was deemed appropriate by Major League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Pillar will miss Thursday’s game against the Braves, as well as Friday’s game at Baltimore. He will forfeit approximately $6,066 of his $555,000 salary, with the money donated to charity.
Pillar will also pay an undisclosed fine.
Pillar isn’t expected to appeal.