Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely, Bally Sports Detroit announced Wednesday. The network, which broadcasts Tigers games, also said that Morris will undergo bias training following the incident. The suspension stems from Morris using an offensive accent when Los Angeles Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani was up to bat in the sixth inning of Tuesday's game. Later in the game, Morris said that he "did not intend for any offensive thing."
"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."
In the sixth inning, the game was tied at 2-2 with two outs when Ohtani stepped into the batter's box. Bally Sports Detroit play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard posted the question "now what do you do with Shohei Ohtani?"
Morris responded by saying, with a fake accent, "Be very, very careful." Ohtani ended up being intentionally walked on the play.
When Ohtani came up to bat in the ninth inning, Morris issued the following apology:
"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."
Ohtani was asked about Morris' comments after Wednesday's game -- in which he pitched eight innings of one-run ball and hit his 40th homer -- and told reporters he was not offended.
"I did see the footage and I heard it. Personally, I'm not offended and I didn't take anything personally," Ohtani told reporters, including The Athletic's Sam Blum, through an interpreter.
Morris, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018, is currently in his third season serving as a television analyst on the Tigers television broadcasts. The 66-year old was a pitcher for the Tigers from 1977 to 1990.