Commentator Jack Morris was asked by partner Matt Shepard yesterday what the Detroit Tigers' strategy should be against Los Angeles Angels' star Shohei Ohtani, who is Japanese. So Morris did what any racist might do in this situation and answered with an Asian accent. "Be very very careful."
This was during the 6th inning. What happened behind the scenes between the 6th inning and the 9th isn't clear, but three innings later, Morris apologized.
"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," he 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."
His apology didn't go over too well.
Viewers were unimpressed with both his comment and his apology on Tuesday.
"It's a non-apology apology. Sorry if I offended, blah de blah," tweeted baseball writer Keith Law.
ESPN writer Joon Lee said "the fact that this type of lazy racism keeps popping up around Shohei Ohtani speaks to so much of the media being apathetic and lacking any empathy towards the AAPI experience."
He said it was impossible for Morris to "play something like this off as 'sorry if you were offended' when there's not any purpose in doing this accent other than to make a caricature of AAPI people."
Several commenters called for Morris to be given time off or removed from the broadcast panel.