Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani said Wednesday night that he wasn’t bothered by comments made by Detroit Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris the night before, something that resulted in the Hall of Fame pitcher being suspended by Bally Sports.
Morris used a mocking accent when talking about the Japanese star during Tuesday night’s game.
“I did see the footage and I heard it,” Ohtani said through an interpreter, via The Athletic’s Sam Blum. “Personally, I’m not offended and I didn’t take anything personally … He is a Hall of Famer. He has a big influence in the baseball world. It’s kind of a tough spot.”
Angels manager Joe Maddon had similar feelings as Ohtani before Wednesday’s game, and said he felt that Morris’ apology was sincere.
“My take on the whole thing is that the Detroit Tigers reacted the way they wanted to,” Maddon said, via The Athletic’s Sam Blum. “And I know Jack, and he apologized. That’s it, that’s where I’m at with the whole situation right now.”
The Angels won 3-1 on Wednesday night. Ohtani pitched eight innings and had eight strikeouts, and also hit his 40th home run of the season.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 19, 2021
Jack Morris suspended after using mocking accent
Morris used a mocking accent to introduce Ohtani during Tuesday’s game between the Angels and the Tigers, and was then suspended on Wednesday indefinitely.
Morris, who serves as a color analyst for Bally Sports calling Detroit games, was asked how the Tigers should approach pitching to Ohtani early in the game.
He said that they should “be very, very careful” in a clearly mocking accent.
Jack Morris mocks an Asian accent as Ohtani comes to the plate. Embarrassing. pic.twitter.com/LKLTKiDE7C
— TheDLine™ (@TheDetroitLine) August 18, 2021
Morris, 66, apologized in the ninth inning of the game live on the broadcast, and said that the error had “been brought to my attention.”
"I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially anybody in the Asian community, for what I said about pitching and being careful to Jose — err, Shohei Ohtani," Morris said. "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 spent 18 seasons pitching in MLB from 1977-1994, 14 of which he spent with the Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
“There is no place in the game for it,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said Wednesday, via The Detroit News’ Tony Paul. “I love this sport. This sport is arguably the most diverse sport, certainly of our four major sports here in the U.S., and it should be celebrated … So we need to celebrate that and learn that comments like that are not only unnecessary but unwarranted.”
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