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The right-handed reliever also said he’s been “working hard” to educate himself, including meeting with the executive director of activist group Pride Toronto.
Bass is set to catch a festive first pitch from Toronto LGBTQIA+ activist Leslie Lee Cam before Friday’s game against Minnesota as the Blue Jays begin their fourth annual Pride Weekend celebration.
Bass apologized before the May 30 game against Milwaukee, one day after sharing a post on his Instagram Stories calling for an anti-LGBTQIA+ boycott of Target and Bud Light because of the support they have given the LGBTQIA+ community. Both companies are dealing with the fallout from those campaigns, which have included hostile and homophobic criticism and calls from LGBTQIA+ activists not to cave in to anti-LGBT groups.
Bass has been booed by Toronto fans in his two home appearances since his apology.
“I totally get that,” Bass said. “I just want them to know that I work hard on myself, a lot of self-reflection.”
However, Bass later said he did not think the post, which called the sale of LGBTQIA+ merchandise “evil” and “demonic”, should be considered hateful.
“I don’t,” Bass said. “That’s why I originally posted it. When I look at it, I can see how people would look at it that way and that’s why I was apologizing.”
Bass said he chose to delete the post because “it was the right thing to do” and because he didn’t want it to be a distraction for the team.
“But I stand by my personal beliefs,” said Bass, “and everyone is entitled to their own personal beliefs, right? Also, I mean no harm to any group of people.”
“My focus from the start should have been doing my job and accepting everyone’s decisions and views on life,” Bass added. “Through this process, I’ve learned that. Moving forward, I will definitely know better than to post my personal beliefs on my social media platforms.”
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins first spoke on the topic Thursday, shortly before Bass spoke.
And while he admitted he was “personally hurt” by Bass’ job, Atkins said he accepted the apology that pitcher and manager John Schneider made to him last month.
“His apology and responsibility felt valid or we’d be talking about a different outcome, quite frankly,” Atkins said. It was absolutely essential for us to come together with how strongly we feel about the progress the Toronto Blue Jays have been making in this community.”
“It has to continue,” Atkins added. “I don’t think you can do enough. We will remain true to that commitment to make this environment as inclusive as possible.”
Workers were hanging rainbow flags inside Rogers Center after Thursday’s win over Houston, preparing the stadium for Friday’s festivities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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