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Detroit Tigers’ TV analyst, Hall of Famer Jack Morris suspended for racist remark

Former Detroit pitcher and Hall of Fame inductee Jack Morris hugs former teammate and catcher Lance Parrish after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of a game between the Tigers and Minnesota Twins on Aug. 12, 2018, in Detroit. (AP file photo)

By DAVE HOGG

Associated Press

DETROIT — Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely for racist comments he made about Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani during Tuesday’s game.

When asked by play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard how the Tigers should pitch to Ohtani in the sixth inning, Morris adopted an exaggerated East Asian accent while saying “be very, very careful.” When Ohtani came back up in the ninth, Morris issued a lengthy apology.

“It’s been brought to my attention and I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially in the Asian community, for what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani,” Morris said, adding his respect for Ohtani’s talent.

Bally Sports Detroit announced the suspension Wednesday.

“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, who retired Morris’ number after election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, issued a similar statement.

The incident comes 31 years after Morris, as a player, told a young female reporter that he “only talks to women when I’m naked if they are on top of me or I’m on top of them.” Morris, who was not naked at the time, was defended by then-team president Bo Schembechler, who blamed the Detroit Free Press for sending a female reporter into the clubhouse.