Kevin Pillar apologizes to Braves for use of gay slur, is suspended

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar released an apology Thursday afternoon to the Braves after yelling a gay slur at pitcher Jason Motte during Wednesday night’s game.

Pillar was suspended for two games without pay by the Blue Jays.  He also will pay an undisclosed fine.

“I'm completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position,” Pillar wrote in part on Twitter. “I have apologized personally to Jason Motte, but I also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night.”

Toronto general manager Ross Atkins flew to Atlanta to apologize on behalf of the organization and announce the suspension, which he said was deemed appropriate by Major League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred.

During the seventh inning, Pillar was struck out by Motte, who began walking back to the Braves dugout. Pillar directed the slur at Motte before both teams' benches were cleared.

With tensions high after Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was hit by a pitch and left the game in the fifth, benches cleared once again in the eighth after Jose Bautista hit a home run and flipped his bat.

No punches or ejections resulted from either confrontation.

After the Braves’ 8-4 win Wednesday, Pillar told media his comment was “immature” and he intended to apologize.

The Braves play the final game of a two-game home series against the Blue Jays on Thursday night from SunTrust Park. The game begins at 7:35 p.m.