Update June 8: Anthony Bass met with the head of Toronto Pride and said he had learned the hurtful nature of his sharing of an LGBTQ boycott:
“It definitely shed light on the Pride community for me,” Bass told Sportsnet and The Canadian Press. “I have my personal beliefs, but I understand that everyone’s free to feel and think the way they want and in being accepting, welcoming and making people feel comfortable to make a decision in their lives. To be more accepting of it definitely was something I self-reflected on and realized that I need to be better at. This whole process helped me realize that. Obviously I’m not glad about the post, but in a sense I’m glad it helped me make better decisions about what I say and do moving forward on social media and how I conduct myself around others.”
This of course doesn’t say he has changed any opinions or beliefs, but rather that he should not share those beliefs on social media.
It’s also notable that he has now repeatedly referred to the LGBTQ community as the “Pride community,” seemingly signaling that he can’t bring himself to say the words “gay” or “LGBTQ.”
Original post: Anthony Bass, a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays, has apologized publicly for sharing an Instagram post that advocated for boycotting Target due to its selling of LGBTQ-related clothing for babies and children.
The post incurred backlash from many people in the Toronto area, as well as other Blue Jays fans.
He told the media:
“I recognize yesterday I made a post that was hurtful to the Pride community, which includes friends of mine and close family members of mine, and I’m truly sorry for that. I just spoke with my teammates and shared with them my actions yesterday and I apologized with them.
“And as of right now I’m using the Blue Jays resources, to better educate myself, to make better decisions moving forward. The ballpark is for everybody. We include all fans at the ballpark and we want to welcome everybody.”
It was good to hear an actual apology — “I’m sorry” — and also important that he did it live in front of the media with no notes. Also positive to hear him talk about welcoming everyone to the ballpark.
What “Blue Jays resources” means is unclear, but at least we know the team is trying to help.
Some people — like sportscaster Jason Page — aren’t having what he says is a non-apology.
The post Bass shared was from evangelist Ryan Miller and focused on a couple of pieces of information, some true and some not totally true or unclear.
“Target has begun pushing the message of transitioning to young people and teamed up with a satanist to push pro Satan clothing and pins to children,” the post read, with Miller calling it “darkness.” The designer, Erik Carnell, has created designs highlighting Satan, though they were not available at Target.
While pride and trans imagery may have been on the clothes for both children and adults, Target was clearly not actually pushing kids to transition. It seems they were trying to offer families some LGBTQ-inclusive merchandise.
Still, the teaching of gender fluidity in schools, in addition to the inclusion of some LGBTQ books that depict sex acts or transitioning genders, has garnered the attention of the nation in recent months. As tensions have elevated on the topic, people are reacting and over-reacting to everything.
There will be more to come.