A Major League Baseball player has apologized for sharing a video expressing support for a boycott of Target due to the retailer's embrace of LGBT ideology by selling women's swimsuits for trans-identified males that enable them to "tuck" their male genitalia.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass apologized for sharing a video outlining "the Biblical Reason Christians Should Support Target" as a story on his Instagram account before Tuesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
"I made a post that was hurtful to the pride community, which includes friends of mine and close family members of mine, and I am truly sorry for that," the 35-year-old reliever said.
Statement from Anthony Bass: pic.twitter.com/UXLrx1HVO5— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 30, 2023
"I just spoke with my teammates … shared with them my actions yesterday, and I apologized with them. And as of right now, I'm using the Blue Jays resources to better educate myself to make better decisions moving forward. The ballpark is for everybody. We include all fans at the ballpark, and we want to welcome everybody."
The video in question, which Bass shared without further comment, featured Instagram user Ryan Miller reading from Ephesians 5, which urges the faithful to "take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness but instead expose them for it is shameful to even talk of the things that they do in secret."
Noting Target's role as a business that seeks to "sell things," Miller maintained that "to take part in that is to take part in that God of Mammon that they're serving and to take part in the darkness that they're purveying and getting out to the world and shoving into children's faces."
"To take part in that is to give them your money, and I believe the Bible gives us radical precedent to say 'no, we are running from that' and to instead expose those things, to shout it to all the people that have ears to hear that this is evil, this is demonic, we won't stand for it, we're not going to go to the stores anymore, and we're not going to give them our money," he insisted.
"We're going to let our voice be heard so that people can see the light and so that people can be pulled out of the darkness."
In addition to Target, Miller directed his call for a boycott at "Bud Light and any other corporation that's pushing the things they're pushing." His statement alludes to the fact that Bud Light has faced pushback for partnering with trans-identified influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday, outspoken Canadian Christian blogger Samuel Sey argues that Bass is "betraying Jesus and his conscience" by "apologizing for 'hurting' the 'pride community'" and vowing to "better educate himself."
Stating that "Anthony Bass is a professing Christian," Sey described his actions as "serious" and urged Christians to "pray for him."
This is serious.— Samuel Sey (@SlowToWrite) May 30, 2023
Anthony Bass is a professing Christian. He shared a post supporting the Target boycott.
Now he's apologizing for "hurting" the "pride community" and he says he'll "better educate" himself.
He's betraying Jesus and his conscience. Pray for him. https://t.co/3X5lXJ4Yp9
The controversy surrounding Bass comes as Target has reportedly lost over $10 billion in market valuation as conservative activists call for boycotting the retail chain in response to the "tuck-friendly" swimsuits and the company's promotion of other LGBT pride month apparel.
Other MLB players have recently spoken out about the Los Angeles Dodgers decision to partner with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of drag queens dressed up as nuns that critics say mocks Catholics and Christians.
Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen denounced his team's decision to partner with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, which it plans to honor with a Community Hero Award at its June 16 game, in a statement shared to Twitter via prominent worship artist Sean Feucht.
"I understand that playing baseball is a privilege and not a right," he said. "My convictions in Jesus Christ will always come first."
Treinen believes that honoring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence "disenfranchises a large community and promotes hate of Christians and people of faith." The organization holds annual Easter events mocking the crucifixion of Christ.
"This single event alienates the fans and supporters of the Dodgers, Major League Baseball, and professional sports. People like baseball for its entertainment value and competition. The fans do not want propaganda or politics forced on them," the 34-year-old Treinen stated, stressing that "this group openly mocks Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of my faith."
Treinen said the Dodgers are associating themselves with a "blasphemous" group that "only displays hate and mockery of Catholics and the Christian faith." He cited "the debacle with Bud Light and Target" as "a warning to companies and professional sports to stay true to their brand and leave the propaganda and politics off the field."
Fellow Dodgers pitcher and all-star Clayton Kershaw, also Christian, expressed his dismay with the Dodgers' support for Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. He told The Los Angels Times on Monday that his opposition has nothing to do with the LGBT community.
"I don't agree with making fun of other people's religions," he said. "It has nothing to do with anything other than that. I just don't think that no matter what religion you are, you should make fun of."
Trevor Williams, a devout Catholic pitcher for the Washington Nationals, took to Twitter Wednesday to proclaim his opposition to the Dodgers' plans to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
"To invite and honor a group that makes a blatant and deeply offensive mockery of my religion, and the religion of over 4 million people in Los Angeles county alone, undermines the values of respect and inclusivity that should be upheld by any organization," he wrote in a statement.
"Creating an environment in which one group feels celebrated and honored at the expense of another is counterproductive and wrong," he added. "I believe it is essential for the Dodgers to reconsider their association with this group and strive to create an inclusive environment that does not demean or disrespect the religious beliefs of any fan or employee. I also encourage my fellow Catholics to reconsider their support of an organization that allows this type of mockery of its fans to occur."
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com