USA TODAY Sports
Major League Baseball vice president Billy Bean, a former player who came out as gay in 1999 after his career had concluded, said he hopes Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar’s usage of homophobic language can be a lesson for Pillar himself, the league and the sports world.
The Blue Jays suspended Pillar two games Thursday for using an anti-gay slur toward Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte during Wednesday night’s game. Pillar issued an apology Thursday for using “inappropriate language” and helping to “extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today.”
“This is not who I am and I will use this as an opportunity to better myself,” he said.
The Blue Jays, MLB and Pillar are determining organizations to which Pillar’s two games worth of salary will be donated.
Part of Pillar bettering himself, Bean said, will entail engagement work with PFLAG, the country’s largest organization for allies united with members of the LGBTQ community.
“I think that will be very beneficial for him,” Bean said. “Once there’s a willingness to be (engaged), that’s 95% of the battle. When you’re able to grow and learn off the field, just as you do on the field, it…