The Toronto Blue Jays have apologized after several of their players wore t-shirts poking fun at the team's displacement from Toronto this season. Multiple Jays players have been seen wearing "Homeless Jays" shirts recently, and those shirts have sparked some backlash due to their perceived insensitivity.
The team said the shirts have been banned moving forward.
"The Blue Jays take accountability for ensuring negative stereotypes are not perpetuated and for supporting marginalized groups in our community," said the Jays in a statement. "The club has addressed the issue of the T-shirts with our players and they will not be worn again."
An example of some of the blowback the shirts garnered online:
"What the hell us wrong with you and the @BlueJays organization? There are thousands of people sleeping in parks in just Toronto right now and millions more facing eviction across Canada and the US," wrote one Twitter user. "A few weeks in a hotel while being paid to play baseball is not being 'homeless'."
Just before the start of the season, the Blue Jays were denied clearance to play their home games in Toronto due to border restrictions and quarantine protocols involving travel between the United States and Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, they were left to search for a new home stadium for this season.
The Jays attempted to share stadiums with the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates but were denied by each city's local government. Ultimately, the organization settled for playing their home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, home of their Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons.