ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics say they are in touch with the commissioner’s office a day after outfielder Matt Joyce allegedly directed a gay slur toward a fan during Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.
“We have been in contact with the commissioner’s office, as this is a workplace code of conduct issue,” A’s spokeswoman Catherine Aker said in an email to The Associated Press. “They have opened an investigation.”
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 Associated Press photographer Mark J. Terrill, who overheard the exchange. Terrill said he didn’t 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. “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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.