MLB announced the suspension Saturday, saying that the salary Joyce loses during the suspension will be donated to PFLAG National, a LGBTQ advocacy organization.
Joyce, who issued a public apology earlier Saturday on Twitter, also will participate in a public outreach initiative with PFLAG National.
Joyce tweeted his apology in a seven-part thread less than 24 hours after an Associated Press photographer overheard the exchange between Joyce and the fan during Oakland’s game Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels.
1/ 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
— Matthew Joyce (@sweetswingin20) August 5, 2017
Joyce acknowledged that he had a “truly regrettable moment” and saying that “those words should NEVER come out of someone’s mouth.” The Athletics also said in a statement that Joyce’s language toward the fan is “unacceptable.”
“The Oakland Athletics are very disappointed by the comments Matt Joyce made to a fan during the 8th inning of last night’s game,” the A’s said in a statement. “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.”
The exchange occurred in the eighth inning of Los Angeles’ 8-6 win after Angels first baseman C.J. Cron made a diving stop of Joyce’s hard-hit grounder.
As Joyce returned to the dugout, he uttered several profanities at the fan, called him a gay slur and challenged him to fight, according to AP photographer Mark J. Terrill, who said he didn’t hear the first part of the exchange.
In a similar incident in May, Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games for yelling an anti-gay slur at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte. In 2012, then-Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar, now with the Angels, was suspended three games for displaying an anti-gay slur on his eye-black.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.