Baseball announcers are having a difficult time during the 2021 season.
Jack Morris — Detroit Tigers television analyst — used an accent when describing how to pitch to Japanese slugger Shohei Ohtani, and has now been suspended indefinitely by Bally Sports Detroit.
During the sixth inning of Detroit’s Tuesday game against the Los Angeles Angels, Matt Shepard — Tigers play-by-play announcer — asked Morris, “Now what do you do with Shohei Ohtani?”
“Be very, very careful,” Morris said while using an accent.
— Jonathan Deutsch (@JonathanD_TV) August 18, 2021
With Ohtani coming to the plate in the ninth inning, Morris apologized live on-air.
“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,” Morris said. “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 released a statement saying they were “extremely disappointed” by the remarks, and that Morris had been suspended indefinitely.
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 the 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 the insensitive remark.
The Tigers put out a statement of their own, supporting the decision to suspend Morris.
The Detroit Tigers take immense pride in honoring the 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.
Jack Morris has been “suspended indefinitely from Tigers broadcasts and will be undergoing bias training,” Bally Sports Detroit says.
Statements from the team and network: pic.twitter.com/m3tFgJbgbd
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) August 18, 2021
Morris is not the first MLB announcer to find himself in hot water over what was considered a racially insensitive comment.
In June, Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster and former manager Bob Brenly found himself in trouble after attempting to make a joke about New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman.
“I’m sure that is the same du-rag that Tom Seaver [former Mets great] used to wear when he pitched for the Mets,” Brenly said.
Brenly apologized the following day, pledging to attend sensitivity training after conversations with the Arizona organization. He then announced that he would be taking the next week off from the booth in order to “listen, reflect and devote” his attention to awareness training.
“During last night’s game, I made a poor attempt at humor that was insensitive and wrong. I apologize to Marcus Stroman and have reached out directly to share those thoughts. I have had several conversations with the D-backs and we agree that seeking sensitivity training is an important step so that I can continue to learn from my mistakes in order to be better in the future.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].
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