ANAHEIM -- A's right fielder Matt Joyce was suspended two games without pay starting Saturday, Major League Baseball announced after he made an anti-gay remark to a fan on Friday night at Angel Stadium.Joyce said the incident occurred in the eighth inning after he grounded out to Angels first baseman
ANAHEIM -- A's right fielder Matt Joyce was suspended two games without pay starting Saturday, Major League Baseball announced after he made an anti-gay remark to a fan on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
Joyce said the incident occurred in the eighth inning after he grounded out to Angels first baseman C.J. Cron. Joyce said a fan moved close to the A's dugout and made vulgar remarks about him and his family, prompting his response.
"I let the emotions and frustrations really get the better of me there," Joyce said. "Obviously said some words that should never be said. There's no excuse, no good excuse for that kind of language to be said and ever used."
Joyce's salary during the two-game suspension will be contributed by the A's to PFLAG, the nation's largest family and ally organization uniting the LGBTQ community. A's manager Bob Melvin spoke with Joyce Saturday morning about the incident and said he hopes Joyce learns a "valuable lesson" while he sits out the next two games.
"It kind of comes with the territory," Joyce said. "There's no tolerance for that with baseball and obviously with the Oakland A's and the great community that we have in the Bay Area. It's embarrassing to me and my family. I was raised a lot better."
The club also issued a statement Saturday expressing disappointment with Joyce's choice of words: "The Oakland Athletics are very disappointed by the comments Matt Joyce made to a fan during the eighth inning of last night's game. This language is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by our team. We pride ourselves on being inclusive and expect our entire organization to live up to higher standards. We appreciate that Matt is contrite about his conduct and know he will learn from this incident."
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.