Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar, who was suspended last month for shouting anti-gay slurs at an opponent, is donating his forfeited salary to two Toronto-based LGBT organizations, ESPN reports.
Pillar was suspended for two games after striking out and calling Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte a “f*ggot.” He quickly issued an apology for his outburst, saying he was “completely and utterly embarrassed” by his use of the offensive word.
“It’s not lip service,” says Pillar of his donations. “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. 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.”
The benefiting organizations are PFLAG, which will also conduct sensitivity training sessions for Pillar, and You Can Play, which is dedicated to eliminating homophobia and transphobia in athletics.
“When you’re able to grow and learn off the field just as you do on the field, it can make you a much better citizen,” Major League Baseball vice president Billy Bean tells USA Today. “I’m hopeful that Kevin will feel like he understands better after everything, and have in the back of his mind how much words matter moving forward as he plays in front of millions of people. It can help him become a role model.”
— Kevin Pillar (@KPILLAR4) May 18, 2017
In his initial public statement, Pillar apologized to the LGBT community for “the lack of respect” he displayed on the field. “This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.”