Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass recently reposted, on his Instagram story, a video encouraging Christians to boycott Target and Bud Light, using Ephesians chapter 5 as Biblical justification for doing so. He’s since had to issue a public apology for reposting that Christianity-focused video.
Predictably, the online outrage over Bass doing so grew. Twitter commenters demanded he be forced off the team or to hand out Pride jerseys as penance for offending the current pieties, and the Blue Jays responded first by reaffirming, in a press release, their commitment to
“The Blue Jays bring millions of fans together across Canada and are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming experience for all,” they said. “The Blue Jays are proud to celebrate LGBTQ2S+ Pride Month, including a special fourth annual Pride Weekend at the ballpark June 9 and 10, and demonstrations of allyship all month long around the ballpark,” the statement continued.
Bass then had to make a public apology for the reposted video, saying that he would “better educate” himself and said that he was sorry for posting something “hurtful to the community.”
CENSORSHIP: The @BlueJays forced Pitcher Anthony Bass to apologize for sharing a social media posts supportive of the boycotts of Target and Bud Light. Canada has slowly eliminated free speech protections. pic.twitter.com/0hkWZCbvDu
— @amuse (@amuse) May 31, 2023
“I recognize yesterday, I made a post that was hurtful to the community, which includes friends of mine and close family members of mine,” Bass began the statement. Continuing, he apologized, saying, “And I am truly sorry for that.”
He then got to the part where he claimed to have spoken with his teammates about his post and apologized to them about what he put on his Instagram story, saying, I just spoke with my teammates to share with them my actions yesterday. Apologize with them.”
That’s when he got to the part where he pledged to use “resources” to “better educate” himself about the issues at play, which ostensibly means no longer advocating for a Christian worldview online. Speaking about that, he said, “And as of right now I’m using the Blue Jays resources to better educate myself to make better decisions moving forward.”
Then, ending the short apology, he made sure to say that baseball is inclusive of all lifestyles, saying, “The ballpark is for everybody. We include all fans at the ballpark, and we want to welcome everybody. That’s all I have to say. Thank you”
The New Democratic Party of Ontario recently introduced legislation that would make it illegal to hold anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations or distribute what it refers to as “hate propaganda” within 100 meters of property designated as a “2SLGBTQI+ community safety zone.” Those who violate the law by committing the acts within the 100 meter range of the designated zones would face fines of up to $25,000.
The New Democratic Party of Ontario issued a statement on the bill after it drew a large amount of online backlash, saying, “The bill will not allow for fines against people who misgender others. This legislation would not stop anyone from enjoying freedom of expression or assembly. But it would help prevent hate crimes and keep 2SLGBTQI+ Ontarians safe.”
Featured image credit: a screenshot from the embedded Twitter video
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