August 18, 2021

Jack Morris Suspended As Tigers Broadcaster For Affecting An Asian Accent During A Shohei Ohtani At-Bat (He Later Offers A Pathetic Non-Apology Apology While Calling Ohtani "Jose")

Bally Sports Detroit has suspended broadcast analyst (and Hall of Fame pitcher) Jack Morris indefinitely after he affected an Asian accent during a Shohei Ohtani at-bat on Tuesday night.

The network stated it was "extremely disappointed" and said Morris would begin "bias training". The Tigers supported the decision, stating that it takes "immense pride in honoring the diverse cultures that make up our players, coaching staff, front office, fan base and community. . . . We fully support Bally Sports Detroit's . . . on-going commitment to ensure that all personnel are held to the highest standards of personal conduct."

The next time Ohtani came to the plate, Morris tried apologizing for his earlier remarks - and completely failed.
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 Jose -- err, 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. (my emphasis)

So much wrong with this statement.

1. "Brought to my attention". Morris admits he had no clue that using a mock Asian accent when talking about an Asian player was wrong (or, at the very least, wholly unprofessional and puerile). Jack Morris is 66 years old.

1. Not an apology. Morris offers an apology IF anyone was offended, meaning the problem of offense rests with the listener. He does not believe he said anything offensive.

2. "The Asian Community". After addressing his non-apology to "anybody", Morris singles out a specific group of people, thinking they would be especially offended and disgusted by his pathetic and racist attempt at humor (oh, sorry, offended by what he "said about pitching").

3. "Jose". Morris fumbles Ohtani's first name. (Because there are so many "ethnics" in the game these days, it's hard to keep them all straight?)

Morris has been known as a shit for decades. Back in 1990, he objected to having female reporters in the locker room after games (the matter had been settled in the courts at least 12 years earlier), telling reporter Jennifer Frey: "I don't talk to women when I'm naked unless they're on top of me or I'm on top of them." [Morris was not naked when he said this.] During the 1991 ALCS, Frey said Kirby Puckett of the Twins had to keep Morris from physically attacking her, though he did call her a bitch.

Last month, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith made offensive (and stupid) comments about Ohtani, saying that MLB is not helped by the fact that one of the sport's most popular players "needs an interpreter so you can understand what the hell he's saying, in this country". Sports Illustrated reported that "Smith later put out one of those hostage apology videos where the person's face is about an inch from their phone while they ramble and try to cover their ass, but instead, just make things worse".

You know, I'm beginning to think we maybe don't live in a post-racial world.


johngoldfine said...

"Morris would begin "bias training"."

I don't really think there is any such thing for Jack Morris. It's not possible to train away or argue away an old man's lifetime of 'jokes,' contempt, prejudices, biases. At best, you might laboriously train him to avoid the most egregious public remarks, while leaving intact his basic worldview.

For a former teacher, I'm not much of a believer in the power of education to solve the world's misery.

Is Jack Morris any good as announcer or color analyst? If he is good and can avoid those egregious remarks, then who cares what the secret Jack thinks?

The Ings said...

Now, wait a second. You wrote "post-racial world" but your link goes to a Wikipedia article about "post-racial America."

America = World? Same difference? Time to apologize (or maybe apologise?) if you offended anybody. Jack Morris is a red-blooded American boy. Be very very careful about extending the generalization.

Zenslinger said...

Yeah, the "apology" is almost worse than the offense.