Tigers Broadcaster Jack Morris Suspended For Shohei Ohtani Comments
By Jason Hall
August 18, 2021
Baseball Hall of Famer and Detroit Tigers television analyst Jack Morris has been suspended after making offensive comments regarding Los Angeles Angels all-star Shohei Ohtani during Tuesday (August 17) night's game between the Angels and Tigers.
Bally Sports Detroit, which broadcasts the Tigers' games, announced the decision to suspend Morris in a statement shared on its official website Wednesday (August 18).
"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."
Jack Morris apologies before Shohei Otani's at-bat in the ninth inning. pic.twitter.com/WdCjfyfSvX— Spencer Wheelock (@SpencerWheelock) August 18, 2021
The Tigers also shared an official statement regarding the decision in the news release:
"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."
With the Tigers facing a 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth inning and Ohtani -- a native of Japan and one of Major League Baseball's brightest stars -- coming to the plate, Bally Sports play-by-play announcer Matt Shephard asked Morris, "Now what do you do with Shohei Ohtani?"
Morris responded: "Be very, very careful" with an accent, which many viewed as offensive. Ohtani was intentionally walked by the Tigers during the at-bat.
Prior to the ninth inning, Morris addressed the remarks on the live telecast.
"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."
Morris, 66, is a five-time All-Star and a member to the Baseball Hall of Fame's class of 2018.
The former pitcher is currently in his second regular stint working on the Tigers' television broadcasts, having returned as the team's color commentator in 2019 after previously working for the Minnesota Twins.