Pil­lar sus­pended two games for slur

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS ✦ TOP STORIES - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — AT­LANTA

Kevin Pil­lar was sus­pended for two games Thurs­day for shout­ing an anti-gay slur at an At­lanta Braves pitcher, an in­ci­dent the Toronto Blue Jays cen­tre-fielder says he deeply re­grets but hopes will ul­ti­mately raise aware­ness about the hurt­ful im­pact words can have.

Gen­eral man­ager Ross Atkins con­firmed the team ban dur­ing a me­dia avail­abil­ity be­fore Thurs­day night’s game at Sun­Trust Park. Pil­lar’s pay from the two games will be do­nated, Atkins said.

Pil­lar was an­gry at Jason Motte for al­legedly quick-pitch­ing him to get a strike­out that ended the sev­enth in­ning in At­lanta’s 8-4 vic­tory Wed­nes­day night.

Re­plays ap­peared to show Pil­lar us­ing the slur as he yelled to­ward the mound.

Pil­lar told re­porters in At­lanta there is “no place for this lan­guage” any­where, in­clud­ing on the base­ball field.

“I re­ally felt em­bar­rassed for my­self, for my fam­ily for this or­ga­ni­za­tion,” Pil­lar said, adding that he had not slept much Wed­nes­day night. “I was ashamed.”

The in­ci­dent oc­curred dur­ing the Blue Jays’ third straight loss to the Braves. With his team trail­ing 8-3, Pil­lar struck out swing­ing to end a 12-3 sev­enth. He yelled to­ward the mound, prompt­ing Motte to throw up his arms as if he didn’t know what the prob­lem was.

At­lanta catcher Kurt Suzuki and home plate um­pire Brian O’Nora stepped in to dif­fuse the ten­sion. Pil­lar headed to­ward the out­field and the Braves left the field.

Af­ter the game, Pil­lar con­ceded to re­porters that he was frus­trated by his team’s strug­gles, though he didn’t men­tion what was said.

“It just stems from a lit­tle frus­tra­tion in my­self, just the way this se­ries has been go­ing,” he said. “It was im­ma­ture, stupid. It was un­called for. It’s part of the game. I’m a com­pet­i­tive guy.”

Pil­lar, who said he has apol­o­gized per­son­ally to Motte, was much more con­trite Thurs­day.

“There were a lot of dif­fer­ent words that could have been said in the heat of the mo­ment but that was the word that came out,” said Pil­lar. “I re­gret say­ing it whole­heart­edly.”

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