The Blue Jays have issued a two-game suspension to center fielder Kevin Pillar, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (links to Twitter). The 28-year-old has acknowledged and apologized for his use of a homophobic slur during an argument in last night’s game.
Toronto handed down the decision after consulting with the league and player’s association, per GM Ross Atkins. The salary that Pillar will forego will be donated in some manner. Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. will take Pillar’s roster spot for the time being, the club announced.
The Jays had already released a statement condemning Pillar’s comments, explaining that they were not “a reflection of the type of inclusive organization we strive to be.” But the team did also say that it views Pillar as “a respectful, high-character individual” who would hopefully “learn from this situation and continue to positively contribute and live up to our values on and off the field.”
While it’s obviously unfortunate that Pillar uttered the derogatory remark, he did take full responsibility in his own statement. By using the “inappropriate language,” he said, he “helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today.” For that, Pillar said, he is “completely and utterly embarrassed.” The outfielder offered his apologies to Braves reliever Jason Motte (the target of the slur) as well as to “the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community” for what he called “the lack of respect I displayed last night.”