This is something we never expected to see in this whole Joey Votto story – the President of the Toronto Maple Leafs speaking out in his defence.

If you haven’t read anything about it over the past couple of days, Joey Votto has taken a lot of heat for some comments he made about Canada and baseball on a baseball podcast earlier in the week. Specifically, he was asked a question about James Paxton and his no-hitter on Canadian soil, and Votto responded by saying “as far as Toronto, Canadian baseball and the country of Canada, and [James Paxton] being Canadian, I don’t care at all. I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about that.”

Obviously, the quote didn’t age well as Canadians were very upset to hear the best Canadian player in the MLB say something like this. Since then, he has apologized profusely, both in a letter and he wrote and with interviews on Canadian TV. Now he has Brendan Shanahan speaking out for him.

All of his apologies have seemed rather genuine and a ringing endorsement from Shanahan definitely doesn’t hurt. If Raptors fans can forgive Vince Carter for leaving that team the way he did, we’re sure Canadians can forgive Votto for a couple of comments he has shown clear remorse for.

This beef is over.