(USA TODAY) -- Major League Baseball confirmed Thursday it is investigating the incident in which Kevin Pillar appeared to shout a homophobic slur after the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder struck out against Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte on Wednesday night.
The benches cleared twice during the game, the first sequence coming after Pillar was surprised by a quick pitch from Motte. He uttered the slur in response to the pitch, and later apologized to Motte.
“It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for,” Pillar said after the Blue Jays’ 8-4 loss. “It’s part of the game, it’s just, I’m a competitive guy and heat of the moment. Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologize and let him know he didn’t do anything wrong, it was all me.”
In 2012, the Blue Jays suspended shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games after he wrote a homophobic slur in Spanish on his eye black. Escobar was ordered to undergo sensitivity training, and the Blue Jays also donated his salary for the three games to the You Can Play project, which works to ensure athletes are treated the same regardless of sexual orientation. In the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, MLB and the union implemented rules protecting gay employees, adding sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination policy, and created a workplace code of conduct for major and minor league organizations.
In 2014, MLB added an officer of inclusion, former major league outfielder Billy Bean, who was tasked with providing guidance and training to support those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and work with major and minor league clubs to encourage equal opportunity.
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