The Toronto Blue Jays suspended outfielder Kevin Pillar for two games after he used an anti-gay slur toward Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte during Wednesday night’s game, general manager Ross Atkins announced Thursday.
Pillar's salary for the two games will be donated, with the club still working out those specifics. Atkins said the discipline came in conjunction with Major League Baseball and the players' association.
Pillar tweeted an apology for using “inappropriate language” and helping to “extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today.”
“I’m completely and utterly embarrassed,” he tweeted, “and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position. I have apologized to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night. This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.”
The Blue Jays also released a statement apologizing to its fan base and the LGBT community that said, “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.
Statement from the Toronto Blue Jays. pic.twitter.com/ASZuzUM6RM— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 18, 2017
“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.”
It marks the second time the Blue Jays themselves moved to suspend a player for homophobic behavior. In 2012, the club suspended shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games after he wrote a homophobic slur in Spanish, on his eye black.