Toronto CF Kevin Pillar apologizes for using anti-gay slur

Slow start dooms Blue Jays in third straight loss to Braves

CF Kevin Pillar was suspended two days without pay by the Blue Jays for shouting a homophobic slur at Braves RHP Jason Motte during a heating exchange Wednesday. After striking out in the 7th inning, Pillar turned and yelled a slur towards Motte, resulting in the benches clearing for the first of two times in the evening.

When all parties agreed on the term, the Jays were given clearance to announce the suspension under the assurance there would be no further disciplinary action from Major League Baseball. He continued to say, "I'm going to use myself as an example of how there are words out there you can't use". "That word still has a very bad stigma for pretty much the whole community, so I think that's what's stinging with regards to this".

General manager Ross Atkins confirmed the team ban during a media availability before Thursday night's game at SunTrust Park. "In no way is this kind of behavior accepted of tolerated, nor is it a reflection of the type of inclusive organization we strive to be".

Dwight Smith Jr., the son of the former outfielder who played for four teams, including the Braves, was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Pillar on the roster. Pillar's suspension was announced around the same time Atlanta put star slugger Freddie Freeman on the disabled list, out for up to 10 weeks with a wrist fracture suffered when he was hit by an Aaron Loup pitch in the fifth inning of Wednesday night's game.

Hunking is a devoted Blue Jays fan and season ticket holder who is also gay.

According to ESPN, this is only the second home run hit by a Blue Jays pitcher in franchise history.

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".

Many on Twitter came down on Pillar over the incident. "The best possible way to get me out is to throw inside".

In 2012, the team issued infielder Yunel Escobar a three-game suspension for writing a homophobic slur in Spanish on his eye black.

The entire team, coaches, announcers all seemed deflated after the news about Freddie Freeman and it showed on the field.

Tempers flared and bullpens cleared, but no punches were thrown. The Jays had lost two games in Toronto and a third in Atlanta, each of the defeats ugly in their own way.

With the Braves leading 8-3 in the eighth inning, Bautista riled the Braves when he homered off Braves reliever Eric O'Flaherty and flipped his bat. It's a message that LGBTQ people - and for all the bloodless but well-meaning references to "the LGBTQ community", it's important to remember that we're talking about people - have heard their entire lives, and LGBTQ baseball fans just saw it repeated on television. Count me among those impressed with his statement, and willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it was a situation he can learn from, and not a character defining moment.

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