Bally Sport Detroit Wednesday suspended Hall of fame pitcher and Detroit Tiger analyst Jack Morris for his use of a mock Japanese accent in discussing star pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani.
As AsAmNews reported yesterday, Ohtani came up for a crucial at bat when Morris stated in his offensive tone, “Be very, very careful,” Morris said.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination and deeply apologize for his insensitive remark.”
Morris apologized later in the game for his comment apparently after receiving word fans were already giving him push back.
“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.
A reporter asked Ohtani about his reaction to the whole incident.
“I did see the footage and I heard it on the video,” he said through an interpreter. “Personally I’m not offended and I don’t take anything personally. I have no say on what they want to do and what they did to him. He’s a Hall of Famer and he has a big influence on the baseball world, so kind of a tough spot.”
Prior to the suspension, a sports journalism affinity group spoke out.
“The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force is disappointed and disturbed by Morris’ attempt to provide analysis on a live broadcast in this manner, especially at a time when Asians in the United States are experiencing a sharp increase in anti-Asian hate, which is resulting in harassment and attacks.
“In his analysis, would Morris have used an accent for an African American player? A Hispanic or Latin player? An Irish or Italian player? Morris, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, should be held to a higher standard while serving a regional and national audience.“
Bally Sports said Morris will go through sensitivity training. The suspension is indefinite.
“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 to ESPN.
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