Baseball Announcer Suspended Indefinitely After Racist Remarks During Tigers Game

WXYZ Detroit

Once upon a time, baseball player Jack Morris was the star pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. He was even inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fast forward to 2021, and at age 66, Morris is now a baseball announcer for the Tigers.

At a recent baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Angeles, Morris made a huge and offensive mistake. It was Los Angeles Angels player Shohei Ohtani’s turn to bat. Ohtani is originally from Japan. He is also the first player to be named an All-Star pitcher and a designated hitter.

As Ohtani walked up to the plate, Matt Shepard, an announcer for the Tigers, asked Morris, “Now what do you do with Shohei Ohtani?”

There was a pause, and then Morris answered in a fake accent saying, “Be very, very careful.” It sounded as if Morris was mocking Ohtani. Fans found it inappropriate and offensive, and they’re not the only ones. Morris quickly realized his mistake as well.

Later in the game, when Ohtani was coming up to bat again, Morris said, “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. 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.”

Bally Sports Detroit broadcasts the Tigers’ games, and they have decided to suspend Morris indefinitely. A simple apology wasn’t enough. In a statement, Bally Sports Detroit explained, “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.”

In addition, the Detroit Tigers also released the following statement: “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.”

Even though fans found Morris’s words offensive and out of line, it sounds like they don’t think he should lose his job. Watch the video below to hear the reaction from fans.

 

Do you think Morris’s words were offensive? Do you think undergoing bias training is enough? Do you think he should lose his job?