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Toronto Blue Jays send Anthony Bass packing after anti-LGBTQ2S+ controversy

Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass was demoted from the team’s roster on Friday afternoon after sharing an anti-LGBTQ2S+ video.

The roster move comes a day after Bass said he stands by his “personal beliefs” just over a week after apologizing for sharing an Instagram story encouraging followers to boycott Target and Bud Light over the support they showed for the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Starting pitcher RHP Mitch White was reinstated after a right elbow injury, the Jays announced in a release on Friday.

“To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Anthony Bass has been designated for assignment,” the team said.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday night, Bass said, “Everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? But also, I mean no harm towards any groups of people.”

“I felt like taking that down a second time was the right thing to do and not be a distraction to this team. Our job is to win baseball games and that’s my focus,” Bass said.

Bass was scheduled to catch the ceremonial first pitch at the Jay’s Pride Night on Friday but that has since been cancelled.

When a reporter asked the pitcher if he thought the video he shared was hateful, he responded, “I do not.”

“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," he said.

On Thursday, Bass met with Pride Toronto's executive director to “unpack” his views and reach a “better place moving forward.”

"I think it is a good second step but it is not the end of the journey," Pride Toronto’s Sherwin Modeste said after the meeting. "I see this as a continuation of learning and this was something that we agreed on."

The week earlier, Bass told reporters he was “truly sorry” in a brief apology acknowledging the post he shared was “hurtful to the Pride community.” 

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