Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely after making a joke that mocked Asian accents while discussing Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.
“Bally Sports Detroit is extremely disappointed with the remarks analyst Jack Morris made during last night’s Tigers game. Jack has been suspended indefinitely from Tigers broadcasts and will be undergoing bias training to educate him on the impact of his comments and how he can be a positive influence in a diverse community,” Bally Sports Detroit, which airs Tigers games, said in a statement. “We have a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination and deeply apologize for his insensitive remark.”
During Tuesday night’s game between the Tigers and Angels, Morris was discussing the Tigers’ strategy in dealing with Ohtani, who leads all of baseball with 39 home runs (despite being a pitcher).
After Morris’ booth mate Matt Shepard asked, “Now what do you do with Shohei Ohtani?” as Ohtani was coming up to bat, Morris replied, “Be very, very careful” in what sounded like a mockery of a Japanese accent. Shepard didn’t respond but it didn’t take long for Morris to apologize.
Shortly after making the comment, Morris said, “Well folks, Shohei Otani is coming to the plate and it’s been brought to my attention… and I sincerely apologize if I offended anyone in the Asian community for what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani. I did not intend for any offensive thing and I apologize if I did. I certainly respect and have the utmost respect for this guy, and I don’t blame a pitcher for walking.”
In a statement of their own, the Tigers said: “The Detroit Tigers take immense pride in honoring diverse cultures that make up our players, coaching staff, front office, fan base and community. We are deeply disappointed by the comments made by Jack Morris during the broadcast last night. We fully support Bally Sports Detroit’s decision and their on-going commitment to ensure that all personnel are held to the highest standards of personal conduct.”