Tigers broadcaster suspended for fake accent while discussing Ohtani
Detroit Tigers TV analyst Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely for answering a question about Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani in a fake accent during Tuesday's broadcast, Bally Sports Detroit announced Wednesday.
"We have a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination and deeply apologize for his insensitive remark," the broadcasting company said in a statement.
The company added that Morris will undergo bias training to learn "how he can be a positive influence in a diverse community."
Morris used the accent in the sixth inning after play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard asked the Hall of Fame pitcher how Detroit should handle Ohtani, who is Japanese, before MLB's home run leader stepped into the batter's box.
Morris apologized in the ninth inning before Ohtani's last at-bat.
"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," he 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 I don't blame a pitcher for walking him."
Ohtani later said he wasn't bothered by Morris' comments.
"I did see the footage," he said, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. "I heard it on the video. Personally I'm not offended. I didn't take anything personally."
Ohtani, 27, is arguably the biggest star in baseball and is the favorite to win American League MVP this season.