Detroit Tigers television analyst Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely by Bally Sports Detroit after he used an accent in describing what the Tigers should do when pitching to the Los Angeles’ Shohei Ohtani.
Bally Sports Detroit said in a statement Wednesday that it was “extremely disappointed” with Morris’ remarks and that the former major league pitcher will undergo 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 network said.
The Tigers said in a statement that they were “deeply disappointed” with Morris’ comments.
“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,” the team said.
After Wednesday’s win over the Tigers, Ohtani said he heard the remarks but wasn’t offended.
“I did see the footage and I heard it on the video. Personally, I’m not offended, I didn’t take anything personally,” he said. “I have no say to what the Tigers wanted to do or what they did with him. He’s a Hall of Famer. He has a big influence in the baseball world, so it’s kind of a tough spot.”
Later in the broadcast Tuesday night, Morris said before the ninth inning that he “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 made his earlier comment in the top of the sixth inning when Ohtani, who is from Japan, was on deck with the game between the Tigers and Angels tied at 2. Bally Sports Detroit play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard asked, “Now what do you do with Shohei Ohtani?”
Morris said with an accent: “Be very, very careful.” Ohtani was then intentionally walked.
The 66-year-old Morris, a five-time All-Star who pitched for 14 seasons with the Tigers, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. He is in his second regular stint on Tigers television broadcasts, having returned in 2019.
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