DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely for racist comments he made about Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani during Tuesday’s game.
When asked by play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard how the Tigers should pitch to Ohtani in the sixth inning, Morris adopted an exaggerated East Asian accent while saying “be very, very careful.” When Ohtani came back up in the ninth, Morris issued a lengthy apology.
“It’s been brought to my attention and I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially in the Asian community, for what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani,” Morris began, before going on to talk about his respect for Ohtani’s talent.
Bally Sports Detroit announced the suspension Wednesday.
“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. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination and deeply apologize for his insensitive remark.”Bally Sports Detroit
The Tigers, who retired Morris’ number after he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, issued a similar statement.
The incident comes 31 years after Morris, during his playing days, told a young female reporter that he “only talks to women when I’m naked if they are on top of me or I’m on top of them.” Morris, who was not naked at the time, was defended by then-team president Bo Schembechler, who blamed the Detroit Free Press for sending a female reporter into the clubhouse.
Morris pitched in the MLB for 18 seasons and was on three World Series teams: the Tigers in 1984, the Minnesota Twins in 1991 and the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
—News 8 contributed to this report.