Matt Joyce Calls Fan Homophobic Slur During Game vs. Angels

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2017

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 04:  Matt Joyce #23 of the Oakland Athletics runs on his RBI double to take a 6-2 lead over the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 4, 2017 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Oakland Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce used an anti-gay slur Friday night during a verbal exchange with a fan while the A's were playing the Los Angeles Angels on the road.

Associated Press photographer Mark J. Terrill provided details, though he admitted to not hearing the beginning of the conversation, per ESPN.com. The Oakland right fielder said following the game he felt "regret" about the situation.

"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 [first baseman C.J. Cron] make a good play," he said.

"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."

He released an apology on Twitter on Saturday:

"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. A fan yelled vulgar and obscene words about me and my family and I let my frustrations and emotions get the better of me. 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. Anyone who knows me will tell you that incident it is not reflective of me as a person, how I treat others, how I live my life and that those hurtful words are not my views. I fully support and hope to help the LGBTQ community with their efforts in being treated fairly and intend to let my actions speak louder than anything more that can be said about this truly regrettable moment."

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle provided a statement from the A's:

Joyce is playing his 10th season in the major leagues. He previously made stops with the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Angels before signing a two-year deal with Oakland last November.

The 33-year-old Florida native earned an All-Star Game selection with Tampa in 2011. He's posted a .227/.336/.421 triple-slash line with 14 home runs in 98 games so far this season with the A's.

Los Angeles went on to win Friday's game 8-6. Joyce drove home Matt Chapman with an RBI double in the sixth inning for his only hit of the contest.

It's unclear whether he'll face any team or league discipline for the incident.

In May, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games in a joint decision by MLB and the Jays for his use of a homophobic slur during a game against the Atlanta Braves.