Jack Morris Suspended Indefinitely for Racist Accent During Shohei Ohtani At-bat

Adam WellsAugust 18, 2021

National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jack Morris speaks during an induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Cooperstown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris has been indefinitely suspended for using a racist accent on the air during a Shohei Ohtani at-bat in Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels. 

In a statement released on Wednesday, Bally Sports Detroit cited its "zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination" to announce Morris' suspension:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

Detroit <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tigers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tigers</a> broadcaster Jack Morris indefinitely suspended <a href="https://t.co/UTOYoOLcos">pic.twitter.com/UTOYoOLcos</a>

Morris' comment came in the top of the sixth inning when Ohtani was coming up to bat. He was asked by play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard how the Tigers should handle the Angels superstar. 

"Be very, very careful," Morris said while using a mocking Asian accent. 

Before Ohtani's next plate appearance to lead off the ninth inning, Morris issued an apology on the air for his remarks: 

"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."

Morris is in his second stint as a color commentator for Tigers games. He previously worked for the Fox Sports Detroit on a part-time basis for two seasons from 2015-16. 

Fox Sports Detroit rehired Morris in January 2019 as one of two analysts, along with Kirk Gibson, to call Tigers games with Shepard. 

Morris spent the first 14 years of his playing career with Detroit from 1977-90.