Oakland Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce has officially been suspended by Major League Baseball for two games after he shouted a gay slur at a fan during Friday night’s loss to the Angels.
An investigation by the commissioner’s office on Saturday found his actions violating the MLB’s code of conduct. Joyce has since apologized for the slur on Twitter.
“In regard to last night’s incident, I first and foremost want to sincerely apologize to the fans, the Oakland A’s, MLB and the most importantly the LGBTQ community for my comments and actions,” Joyce said in a string of tweets. “I am beyond sorry for the inappropriate language that I used and understand and agree that those words should NEVER come out of someone’s mouth no matter the situation.”
His regretful tweets came not long after a report from the Associated Press about the league’s investigation of the incident.
Oakland A’s outfielder Matt Joyce hurls gay slur at fan
“We pride ourselves on being inclusive and expect our entire organization to live up to higher standards,” the A’s said in a statement. “We appreciate that Matt is contrite about his conduct and know he will learn from this incident.”
The 33-year-old was initially quick to brush off the comment as a result of his frustration after the game; Joyce had just grounded out to C.J. Cron, who made a diving play to save a hit in the A’s 8-6 loss to the Angels.
“It’s just one of those things that fans kind of get into the game. Obviously, we’re pretty frustrated on our side and I had just hit a ball hard and had Cron make a good play,” Joyce said of the 8th-inning incident. “I was walking back to the dugout and just had a fan yell some vulgar and obscene words.”
Joyce also said after the game that it “wasn’t the right time” to be yelling such obscenities at the fan.
As part of his punishment, Joyce will take part in a public outreach initiative with PFLAG, a family and ally organization supporting LGBTQ community. The A’s are also donating more than $ 54,000 of Joyce’s lost salary to PFLAG.
With The Associated Press
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