DETROIT – Bally Sports Detroit broadcaster Jack Morris has been suspended from calling Tigers games after a comment he made about Japanese star Shohei Ohtani.
During the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, play-by-play announcer Matt Shepherd asked Morris, “What do you do with Shohei Ohtani?”
Ohtani, who leads MLB in home runs and is the favorite for American League MVP, was coming up to bat in a tie game.
“Be very, very careful,” Morris said, using an accent.
Later in the game, with Ohtani coming up to bat again, Morris issued an on-air apology.
“Well folks, Shohei Ohtani is coming 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,” 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 and don’t blame a pitcher for walking him.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Bally Sports Detroit issued the following statement:
“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.”
Here is a statement from the Tigers:
“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 ongoing commitment to ensure that all personnel are held to the highest standards of personal conduct.”
Ohtani is scheduled to start on the mound Wednesday night at Comerica Park. The final meeting between the Angels and Tigers this season is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.