Blue Jays DFA Anthony Bass before Pride Weekend celebration

The Toronto Blue Jays have designated right-handed pitcher Anthony Bass for assignment.

The reliever made headlines last week after sharing a post on social media that called for anti-LGBTQIA+ boycotts of Target and Bud Light. The shared post described the sale of LGBTQIA+ merchandise as "evil" and "demonic."

The move to DFA Bass comes on the same day that he was to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Toronto LGBTQIA+ activist leZlie Lee Kam before Friday's game against the Minnesota Twins as the Blue Jays begin their fourth annual Pride Weekend celebration. Pitcher Kevin Gausman, who is slated to start Sunday's game, will replace Bass as the ceremonial catcher.

Bass, 35, apologized for sharing the post a day later, but he was booed by fans in Toronto in two home appearances since the apology.

Speaking Thursday, Bass said he's "working hard" to educate himself but doesn't believe the social media post he shared last month was hateful.

"I do not," Bass said. "That's why I posted it originally. When I look back at it, I can see how people would view it that way, and that's why I was apologetic."

Bass said he chose to delete the post because "it was the right thing to do" and because he didn't want it to be a distraction to the team.

"But I stand by my personal beliefs," Bass said, "and everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs, right? Also, I mean no harm towards any groups of people."

"My focus from the get-go should have been doing my job and being accepting of everyone's decisions and views in life," Bass said. "Through this process, I've learned that. Moving forward, I will definitely know better than to post my personal beliefs on my social media platforms."

Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said Friday that both the controversy and Bass' on-field performance led to the move.

"Performance was a large aspect of the decision," Atkins said. "Distraction was a small part of it and something we had to factor in."

Atkins refused to say whether Bass would still be on the team if his performance had been better.

"We're trying to build the best possible team we can build," Atkins said. "This was a baseball decision to make our team better."

The team now has seven days to either trade or waive Bass, who has a 4.95 ERA in 22 relief appearances this season. The well-traveled righty has previously pitched for the Padres, Astros, Rangers, Cubs, Mariners and Marlins.

"We won't stand in his way to be with another organization," Atkins said, adding that it was not "a realistic option" for Bass to land in Toronto's minor league system.

To replace Bass, Toronto reinstated right-hander Mitch White from the 60-day injured list.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.