Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista reportedly ends Sportsnet boycott
On the same day a report confirmed that Jose Bautista was in the midst of a months-long boycott of Sportsnet, subsequent statements from the Toronto Blue Jays slugger indicate that he has ended his interview embargo related to the team’s television broadcast partner.
Bautista made his lifting of the boycott known to the Toronto Star’s Richard Griffin prior to Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
“The issue’s resolved and we’re moving on,” he said. The fact that he conducted a one-on-one interview with Sportsnet’s Barry Davis before the game — his first solo interview with the broadcaster since May 12, a week before the incident involving rookie Devon Travis prompted Bautista to begin his boycott.
A previous report from The Star indicated that Bautista was left in a huff with Sportsnet over a lifestyle profile piece conducted with Blue Jays rookie Devon Travis during which the young player tried on several suits. Travis subsequently footed the bill for the suit he selected, prompting Bautista to come to the defense of his teammate as he felt the rookie shouldn’t have had to pay for the clothing.
Despite Bautista lifting the boycott, representatives for the Blue Jays and Sportsnet, both owned by Rogers Communications, declined to comment. A spokesperson told the Toronto Star that “continue to decline the opportunity to comment.”
The owner of GotStyle Menswear, the store where the segment was shot, said Travis was given a 50 percent discount and paid $900 for the suit.
“We were asked to do this story,” said owner Melissa Australia. “I asked (Sportsnet) if they wanted us to gift it, they said ‘No.’ They said, ‘Just give a discount.’ We gave a discount that I think is more than fair.”