Kevin Pillar to donate forfeited salary to LGBTQ groups
Kevin Pillar will donate salary forfeited in his suspension for making a homophobic slur to two prominent LGBTQ groups.
The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder was suspended two games in the wake of yelling an anti-gay slur at Atlanta Braves reliever Jason Motte during a May 17 game.
The benches clear in Atlanta after Kevin Pillar takes exception to Jason Motte’s quick pitch in the top of the 7th inning!!! pic.twitter.com/fcwxtUWuYL
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) May 18, 2017
Pillar apologized for the incident calling it ” immature,” “stupid” and “uncalled for.”
— Kevin Pillar (@KPILLAR4) May 18, 2017
The Blue Jays also issued an apology.
Statement from the Toronto Blue Jays. pic.twitter.com/ASZuzUM6RM
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 18, 2017
An ESPN news services report indicates Pillar worked with Major League Baseball and the MLBPA to determine the best way to make use of the salary surrendered in light of the two-game suspension, which amounted to about $7,000 of his $550,000 salary.
The money will be split between PFLAG, “an LGBTQ advocacy and support group,” and You Can Play, “an organization that works to make sports safe and open for athletes regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” per the report.
“It’s not lip service,” Pillar, who will also take part in sensitivity training from PFLAG, said of the donation. “It’s easy to come out and make your apologies and hope people forget, but I meant what I said when I said hopefully I’ll be made an example of.”
Pillar also caught the ceremonial first pitch before Thursday’s game against the New York Yankees from Pride Toronto board of directors member Michelle Cherny.
“There are still some things that are going to be done,” he said. “My actions didn’t just affect me, they affected this organization as well, and between me and the organization, we’re going to do our part.”
Pillar certainly appears to be doing all he can to make things right in light of the incident. While the donation of his forfeited salary to LGBTQ groups and participating in a ceremonial first pitch along with an LGBTQ advocate are steps in the right direction, Pillar agreeing to undergo sensitivity training arguably is the most encouraging demonstration of his regret.