Anthony Bass Getty Toronto Blue Jays
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The Toronto Blue Jays have designated pitcher Anthony Bass for assignment. The move comes ahead of the team's fourth annual Pride Weekend celebration and after the relief pitcher shared an anti-LGBTQIA+ post on social media in May that stated the sale of LGBTQIA+ apparel is "evil" and "demonic."

Bass was slated to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Toronto LGBTQIA+ activist leZlie Lee Kam before Friday's game against the Minnesota Twins. Bass, 35, apologized for the anti-LGBTQIA+ post one day after sharing it. Since issuing the apology, Bass was greeted with an abundance of boos from the Toronto crowd in his two appearances.

"Performance was a large aspect of the decision," Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins said on Friday regarding the move. "Distraction was a small part of it and something we had to factor in."  

On Thursday, Bass stated that he's "working hard" to become more educated regarding the LGBTQIA+ community. He said he didn't think the post he shared was hateful at the time of posting it.

"I do not," Bass said. "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."

Bass added that he deleted the post because "it was the right thing to do," and he didn't want to be a distraction to his teammates.

"But I stand by my personal beliefs," Bass added. "And everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? Also, I mean no harm towards any groups of people.

"My focus from the get-go should have been doing my job and being accepting of everyone's decisions and views in life. 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."

The veteran right-hander has recorded a 4.95 ERA in 22 appearances during the 2023 season with Toronto. Bass has also spent time with the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers throughout his 12-year MLB career.