Detroit Tigers color commentator Jack Morris apologized Tuesday after using a racist accent while discussing how the team should pitch to Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani.
In the top of the ninth inning of the Angels’ 8-2 win over Detroit, play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard asked Morris — a Hall of Fame pitcher and four-time World Series champion with the Tigers, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays — how the Tigers should approach Ohtani’s next at-bat. Morris replied they should “be very, very careful” in an apparent Asian accent.
Morris later apologized when Ohtani came to the plate.
“Well folks, Shohei Ohtani’s 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, about Shohei Ohtani.
“I did not intend any offensive thing and I apologize if I did. I certainly have the utmost respect for this guy.”
The comment and apology were widely condemned on social media, including by ESPN’s Keith Olbermann, who wrote in a tweet that it was “a pathetic ‘sorry if YOU were offended’ non-apology apology.”
Ohtani, who leads MLB with 39 home runs and has a 7-1 record on the mound, went 1 for 3 in the contest with three walks and a stolen base.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.