Joey Votto will be considered one of the greatest Canadian baseball players of all time when his career is done, but Canadians were feeling a little less proud of that on Tuesday.

Votto was asked about James Paxton throwing a no-hitter on Canadian soil in a Yahoo Sports podcast and his response could be summed up by the quote “As far as 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”.

Canadians were obviously disappointed by his comments and he eventually issued an apology letter, shared through the Canadian Baseball Network:

“By Joey Votto

I was asked recently about James Paxton and his no-hitter on Canadian soil. I am not sure how I could have been so ridiculously selfish and short-sighted in my reply. 

When asked about baseball in Canada, the Blue Jays and specifically this event, it took me back to the times and my resentment for not making Team Canada in high school, not being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of high school, or not being picked for the Olympic team while in the minor leagues. 

Clearly my reply came out of a side of jealousy for a Canadian baseball athlete being celebrated in the city of Toronto. It was an odd reply and one I am terribly ashamed of.

The apology goes on to explain how proud Votto is of the awards he has won as a Canadian and how he often returns to Toronto and he finishes it off with one final apology.

“As I write this I am saddened that I was so flagrant with my remarks and more importantly that I offended so many people that mean so much to me.”

Votto had spent some time as a TV analyst in Canada last year, so it will be interesting to see if this whole ordeal impacts how appearances like that are received in the future. Votto has often embraced the role of a heel on the baseball field, but this is the first time we’ve really seen him back pedal on actions or comments he’s made – mostly because the other instances were more good-natured fun.