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Blue Jays DFA Bass amid anti-LGBTQ controversy

Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Toronto Blue Jays designated right-handed relief pitcher Anthony Bass for assignment, the team announced Friday.

The move comes after Bass shared an anti-LGBTQ video on Instagram in late May. The 35-year-old later apologized but said he stands by his "personal beliefs" on Thursday.

"Performance was a large part of this decision," general manager Ross Atkins said following Friday's move, according to Scott Mitchell of TSN. "Distraction was a small part, but it factored in."

Bass posted a 4.95 ERA and 4.68 FIP over 20 innings while making 22 appearances so far this season.

Bass was slated to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Toronto LGBTQ activist leZlie Lee Kam prior to Friday's Pride Night game against the Minnesota Twins.

The video Bass shared promotes boycotting companies that support gay and trans rights in the name of the Christian faith. Home supporters booed him during his first appearance after sharing and subsequently deleting the video.

"I do not (find the video hateful)," Bass said Thursday. "That's why I posted it originally. When I look back at it, I can see how people would view it that way, and that's why I was apologetic."

Toronto reinstated right-handed pitcher Mitch White from the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move.

White, 28, has spent the entirety of the 2023 season sidelined with right elbow inflammation. He made nine rehab appearances in the minors and posted a 10.07 ERA and 6.65 FIP over 19 2/3 innings with Triple-A Buffalo. Last year, he authored a 5.45 ERA and 3.87 FIP over 99 innings between the Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Blue Jays DFA Bass amid anti-LGBTQ controversy
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