Detroit Tigers broadcaster suspended indefinitely after using Asian accent during telecast

Jack Morris, former Detroit Tigers pitcher
Jack Morris, former Detroit Tigers pitcher(Associated Press)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 3:28 PM EDT
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DETROIT (WILX) - The Detroit Tigers have suspended color commentator Jack Morris from broadcasts after using an Asian accent Tuesday night before an at-bat by Los Angeles Angels player Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani, arguably the most exciting baseball player in Major League Baseball right now, is from Japan.

Before Ohtani came up to the plate, Morris used an Asian accent when describing what the Tigers should do when pitching to Ohtani.

“Now what do you do with Shohei Ohtani,” asked Bally Sports Detroit play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard.

“Be very, very careful,” said Morris with an accent. Ohtani was then intentionally walked.

Morris then came under fire for the accent by many on social media. Before the start of the ninth inning, Morris addressed his remarks during the broadcast.

“Well folks, Shohei Ohtani is coming up to the plate and 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 Shohei Ohtani,” said Morris. “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 don’t blame the pitcher for walking him.”

The day after the comments, Morris has been suspended indefinitely. Bally Sports Detroit and the Detroit Tigers have released statements regarding Morris’ comments, saying they are unacceptable.

“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 Detroit Tigers take immense pride in honoring the diverse culture 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.”

Detroit Tigers

Morris, 66, was a five-time All-Star pitcher for the Tigers, and was indicted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. This was his second regular stint on Tigers broadcasts.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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