Oakland A’s outfielder Matt Joyce used an anti-gay slur during a heated verbal conflict with a fan in Anaheim on Friday night. On Saturday, MLB suspended him two games without pay for the incident.
According to the Washington Post, Joyce wound up challenging the fan to a fight in an argument that took place after he grounded out late in the game. Major League Baseball investigated the incident before handing down the discipline.
Joyce issued a lengthy Twitter apology on Saturday acknowledging and expressing regret for his actions. The team has also decried his behavior.
“The A's are disappointed by the comments Matt Joyce made to a fan last night. This language is unacceptable & will not be tolerated,” the team wrote on Twitter Saturday.
“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 [Angels first baseman C.J. Cron] make a good play,” Joyce told reporters afterward. “I was walking back to the dugout and just had a fan yell some vulgar and obscene words. For me it just wasn’t the right time to say some stuff like that. I fired back and obviously as soon as you fire back you regret saying anything, because it’s just not worth it.”
Blue Jays centerfielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games in May for directing an anti-gay slur toward Braves pitcher Jason Motte. MLB called Pillar’s case a violation of the league’s code of conduct.