Blue Jays suspend Pillar for two games after using homophobic slur
The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder acknowledged using the slur in a statement released on Thursday.
Kevin Pillar has been suspended two games by the Toronto Blue Jays for directing a homophobic slur towards Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins told reporters on Thursday that Pillar's pay for those two games will be donated to a charity.
Pillar will sit out Thursday's MLB game against the Braves and Friday's opener with the Baltimore Orioles.
"The Toronto Blue Jays are extremely disappointed by the comments made by Kevin Pillar following his at-bat during the seventh inning of last night's game," the Blue Jays said in the statement. "In no way is this kind of behaviour accepted or tolerated, nor is it a reflection of the type of inclusive organization we strive to be. We would like to extend our apologies to all fans, Major League Baseball and especially the LGBQT community.
"We know Kevin to be a respectful high-character individual who we hope will learn from this situation and continue to positive contribute and live up to our values on and off the field."
The Blue Jays and Braves got into a benches-clearing scuffle during Atlanta's 8-4 win on Wednesday after Pillar took exception to a pitch from Motte.
Pillar used a homophobic slur toward Motte to express his frustration.
The 28-year-old issued an apology for his actions after the game, although he did not say specifically what he said.
He sent out another statement on Thursday, saying: "Last night [Wednesday], following my at-bat in the seventh inning, I used inappropriate language towards Braves pitcher Jason Motte.
"By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports, or anywhere in society today.
"I'm complete and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position. I have apologized personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologise to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night. This is not who I am and I will use this as an opportunity to better myself."
Pillar's suspension will force him to miss Thursday's series finale with the Braves in Atlanta, a game which many expect fallout to occur from Wednesday in which Braves star Freddie Freeman broke his wrist on a HBP and Jose Bautista flipped his bat after a homer even though Atlanta was up five runs.