Jays' Bass regrets sharing anti-LGBTQ video but stands by 'personal beliefs'
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Anthony Bass regrets sharing an anti-LGBTQ video on Instagram in late May but stands by what he said are his religious beliefs.
"The video itself, I took it down," Bass said Thursday while answering questions from the media for the first time since posting the video, according to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com. "I felt like it was too much of a distraction. I stand by my personal beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? But I also mean no harm to any groups of people."
The video Bass shared promotes boycotting companies that support gay and trans rights in the name of the Christian faith.
Bass apologized publicly and to his teammates following the incident, but he said Thursday he doesn't believe the video was hateful.
"I do not. 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."
He added: "My focus should be doing my job and being accepting of everyone's decisions and views in life. Through this process, moving forward, I'll definitely know better than to post my personal beliefs on my social media platforms."
The Blue Jays plan to have Bass catch the ceremonial first pitch Friday during the team's annual Pride Weekend, according to Matheson. The 35-year-old offered to participate in the proceedings with community activist leZlie Lee Kam, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Bass has also met with Pride Toronto executive director Sherwin Modeste.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Bass apologized to him and manager John Schneider "for creating any harm and for hurting others" in the immediate aftermath of his post.
"His emotion was very strong, as was mine," Atkins said, per Matheson. "I was personally hurt, myself. He felt my disappointment and anger. It was a very charged exchange."
Atkins also said Bass will have to endure the boos he's receiving from Blue Jays fans at the Rogers Centre.
"I'm certain it affects him, and that's OK," Atkins said, according to Ethan Diamandas of Yahoo Sports Canada. "We love our fans. We understand they're entitled to react that way. I think Anthony has processed that and understands that there are repercussions for behavior."