Joey Votto apologizes for ‘selfish’ comments on Canadian baseball
Joey Votto apologized Wednesday for negative remarks about Canadian baseball, calling his own comments “selfish.”
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman, who was born and raised in Toronto, is seen by many as the greatest Canadian baseball player the sport has ever seen, which makes his comments even more disappointing for many baseball fans across Canada.
He made an appearance on the Yahoo! Major League Baseball podcast on Tuesday, he was asked about recent accomplishments made by Canadian athletes in major league baseball.
“I don’t care almost at all about Canadian baseball,” Votto said. “I wasn’t raised inside of Canadian baseball really. I’m coming up on half of my life being in the United States working and being supported by American baseball.”
This immediately sparked backlash on Twitter from baseball fans across the country.
Why a guy has to go out of his way and slam Canada or Canadian baseball because he’s been in the US almost half his life and hammering on a Canadian throwing a no hitter on his home soil saying he’s doesn’t give a rats ass, well no problem. Stay there and enjoy last place #Votto
— X-RJ (@RJJays1975) May 16, 2018
The ridiculous and disrespectful comments by Joey Votto just blow my mind. I can’t wait to get home and burn ? my Votto gear. I am a proud baseball fan and Canadian. His apology is lip service and hollow, a total disregard. This is Patrick Chan part 2 #mlb #votto #patrickchan
— Big Joe (@theb00gey) May 16, 2018
Matt Richard, who’s worked with the Newmarket Hawks senior team north of Toronto for almost 20 years, says was let down by Votto’s comments.
“It’s disappointing when I think of the growth that Canadian baseball has experienced over the years and the support it has given hundreds and hundreds of kids,” he told Humber News.
Richard said it’s hard to believe someone would discount Canadian baseball, especially someone who was so heavily involved with it.
Although he believes the remarks were harsh, Richard thinks the words may have been taken out of context.
“What I truly think he was trying to say is ‘I don’t care about baseball in Canada because you guys weren’t there for me’,” he said.
He was referring to Votto’s being passed over as a teenager by Team Canada and not being drafted out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dan Nicoletta, who has played high level baseball for the Newmarket Hawks and Brock University, shares similar views to that of Richard.
“As a Canadian, where there’s not a lot of Canadian representation in major league baseball, you don’t really want to hear somebody say ‘I don’t give a rat’s ass about baseball in your country’,” he said.
Nicoletta spent the majority of his life in high-level baseball programs in Canada and acknowledged the talent that Canadian programs have produced over the years.
“There are a lot of guys who are playing elite, high-level baseball, who are trying to be like Joey Votto,” he said.