A's Matt Joyce allegedly calls fan anti-gay slur during heated exchange

ESPN logo
Saturday, August 5, 2017

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce got into a heated exchange with a fan and called him an anti-gay slur during Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels, according to an Associated Press photographer.

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 an anti-gay slur and challenged him to fight, according to AP photographer Mark J. Terrill, who overheard the exchange. Terrill said he did not hear the first part of the exchange.

"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 make a good play," Joyce said after the game. "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."

It was not clear whether Joyce's postgame comments were in response to the confrontation in general or the alleged use of the slur.

In a similar incident in May, Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar was suspended two games for yelling an anti-gay slur at an Atlanta Braves pitcher.

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.