Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris has been removed from his role as an analyst on Detroit Tigers broadcasts indefinitely after a comment he made on air Tuesday when discussing Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.
When Ohtani, from Japan, came to bat in the sixth inning, Morris’ play-by-play partner asked the former pitcher how he would approach throwing to Ohtani.
“Be very, very careful,” Morris, 66, responded in a tone mocking how some Asian people speak English.
Bally Sports Detroit, which telecasts the Tigers, issued a statement Wednesday saying it was “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.”
The Tigers issued a statement concurring with the decision.
“The Detroit Tigers take immense pride in honoring the diverse cultures that make up our players, coaching staff, front office, fan base and community,” the team statement said. “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.”
Morris spent 14 of his 18 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Tigers. He was 198-150 with the Tigers from 1977-90 with a 3.73 ERA in 430 games. He threw 154 complete games and 24 shutouts with the Tigers, and had an overall career record of 254-186.
The Modern Baseball Era Committee elected him into the Hall of Fame in December 2017.
During Tuesday night’s telecast, Morris issued his own apology before Ohtani came to the plate in the ninth inning.
“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.”
–Field Level Media