Bally Sports Detroit said Wednesday that it has suspended Detroit Tigers TV commentator and Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris indefinitely in the wake of a comment he made about Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani during network’s broadcast of the Angeles-Tigers game Tuesday night.
Morris, a longtime analyst since retiring in 1994, used a mocking accent when asked during the sixth inning of the telecast how the Tigers should pitch to Japanese star Ohtani, one of baseball’s best players who has a MLB-best 39 home runs this season.
Morris replied in what appeared to be a mocking accent: “Be very, very careful.”
In the ninth inning he apologized on air after the comment drew ire online.
“Bally Sports Detroit is extremely disappointed with the remarks analyst Jack Morris made during last night’s Tigers game,” the network said in a statement. “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.”
The Tigers also issued a statement agreeing with Bally Sports’ decision to suspend Morris, who was drafted by the Tigers in 1977 and played 14 seasons with the team, helping them win the World Series in 1984.
“The Detroit Tigers take immense pride in honoring the diverse cultures that make up our players, coaching staff, front office, fan base and community,” the club said. “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.”
Earlier this year, Bally Sports Arizona’s Diamondbacks broadcaster Bob Brenly took a leave of absence for sensitivity training after he was criticized for commenting on-air about New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman’s headwear.
In 2020, longtime Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman resigned soon after he had been suspended for using an anti-gay slur on a hot mic between innings of a Red-Royals broadcast for Fox Sports Ohio.