"We have a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination"
Detroit Tigers television analyst Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely after using a racist accent to discuss Los Angeles pitcher Shoehei Ohtani.
Earlier this week, commentator Matt Shepard asked Morris what the team’s strategy should be against Ohtani during a Tigers-Angels game.
Morris said in an exaggerated Asian accent, “be very, very careful.”
When the Japanese pitcher came up to bat again, Morris apoligized to the viewers.
“It’s been brought to my attention, and I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially anybody in the Asian community, for what I said about pitching and being careful to Jose or Shohei Ohtani,” the four-time All-star Detroit pitcher announced.
“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.”
Bally Sports Detroit, the network behind the team’s broadcasts, since issued a statement saying it was “extremely disappointed” and announcing Morris had been suspended.
“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,” the statement read.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination and deeply apologize for his insensitive remark.”
The Tigers shared similar sentiments and said they “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.”
In other sports news, a Russian hockey player has apologized for making a slant-eyed gesture towards a Chinese player but has simultaneously denied racist intent.
Jack Morris apologies before Shohei Otani’s at-bat in the ninth inning. pic.twitter.com/WdCjfyfSvX
— Spencer Wheelock (@SpencerWheelock) August 18, 2021