Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar has been suspended for two games after yelling an anti-gay slur at Braves pitcher Jason Motte.
Following his suspension, Pillar apologized, saying he was “completely and utterly embarrassed” by his actions during the Wednesday night fixture. He added:
“I regret saying it. I’m going to use myself as an example of how there are words out there you can’t use. It’s not a word I use ever.
“[I] helped 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 and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position.”
— Kevin Pillar (@KPILLAR4) May 18, 2017
The more contrite apology followed remarks he had made in the locker room following the slur in which he had called it “part of the game.”
According to the New York Times, Pillar reacted when he thought Motte had quick-pitched him to get a strikeout that ended the seventh inning. Replays show Pillar yelling the slur toward the mound.
Pillar missed last night’s game against the Braves and will not play in tonight’s Baltimore game. He will forfeit about $6,066 of his $550,000 salary and pay an undisclosed fine.
I love Kevin Pillar, but hate speech has no place in baseball and he should be suspended for what he did last night. Set a better example KP
— Noah Reid (@olreid) May 18, 2017
Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins, who flew to Atlanta to apologize on behalf of the organization and announce Pillar’s suspension, said the fine was “appropriate”.
“There is no question that was in the heat of the moment,” he added, “but that’s no excuse.”
Pillar has also called Motte to apologize.
Watch the incident and a Sports Illustrated report below.