Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games Thursday for yelling an anti-gay slur at Braves pitcher Jason Motte.
Pillar was angry at Motte for allegedly quick-pitching him to get a strikeout that ended the seventh inning in Wednesday night’s loss to Atlanta. Replays appear to show Pillar using the slur as he yells towards the mound.
The Blue Jays issued a statement Thursday from Pillar stating that he “helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today.”
He continues: “I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position.”
Pillar went on to say that he has personally apologized to Motte, and that he plans to apologize to the Braves, their fans and, “most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed.”
“I regret saying it,” Pillar told reporters at SunTrust Park a few hours before the finale of a four-game series against the Braves. “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. … It’s something that just came out.”
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins flew to Atlanta to apologize on behalf of the organization and announce the suspension, which he said was deemed appropriate by Major League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Pillar will miss Thursday’s game against the Braves, as well as Friday’s game at Baltimore. He will forfeit approximately $6,066 of his $550,000 salary, with the money donated to charity. He will also pay an undisclosed fine.
“A large group decided that was appropriate,” Atkins said. “There is no question that was in the heat of the moment, but that’s no excuse.”