Toronto CF Kevin Pillar suspended 2 games for anti-gay slur
In the hours leading to the final game Thursday night in a contentious home-and-home series between the Braves and Blue Jays, fallout continued from Wednesday’s wild 8-4 win by Atlanta.
The organization You Can Play, which advocates for “equality, respect and safety” for LGBT athletes and fans, is commending Pillar for addressing his slur, but the group has taken issue with his first explanation. This home run is just the cherry on top of a performance he and his teammates will be talking about for years to come.
The Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays managed to keep their emotions in check in the fourth and final game of a heated series on Thursday night.
ESPN reported the suspension will cost Pillar $6,066 in salary. The team also reaffirmed their belief that Pillar is still a “respectful, high-character individual”. “We are too”, said Atkins, who flew to Atlanta to deal with the situation personally.
Pillar went on to say using the word, “helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today”.
“I really felt embarrassed for myself, for my family for this organization”, Pillar said, adding that he had not slept much Wednesday night.
Pillar, the Blue Jays’ leadoff hitter, also apologized Thursday on Twitter. With his team trailing 8-3, Pillar struck out swinging to end a 1-2-3 seventh. He yelled toward the mound, prompting Motte to throw up his arms as if he didn’t know what the problem was.
But he conceded that his team was frustrated.
“(I) basically just let them know that I wasn’t trying to show up anybody and hopefully it’s in the past.it has nothing to do with (frustration) but it was definitely not something that was fitting for the moment”, Bautista said after the game. To Pillar’s credit, he owned up to his mistake immediately, saying, “It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for”.
“He’s coming out with a response that he was angry, that he’s a competitive guy, that’s not an apology, right?” said Melissa Jordan on Thursday morning. Additionally, he commented that would “use this as an opportunity to better [himself]”. “I can’t tell you we are going to do it”. “I hope people see this as just an error in judgment”.
In 2012, the team issued infielder Yunel Escobar a three-game suspension for writing a homophobic slur in Spanish on his eye black.
From the tone and way he apologized, it certainly seems that Pillar understands he made a mistake and feels terrible about it.
“We will make sure it’s thoughtful and something that can have a significant impact”, Atkins said. Pillar was upset that Motte had quick-pitched him.
Getting a rare chance to bat, Stroman smashed only the second homer ever by a Toronto pitcher as the Blue Jays bounced back from three straight losses to the Braves for a 9-0 victory over Atlanta.
Tempers flared and bullpens cleared, but no punches were thrown.
Stroman’s home run was Toronto’s third of the game, after a two-run shot from Pillar’s replacement, Darrell Ceciliani and a solo dinger from catcher Luke Maile, just his third hit of the year.