Detroit Tigers Hall of Famer Jack Morris will return to the broadcast booth Friday after serving a 23-day suspension for an apparent racist comment he made toward Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani, Bally Sports Detroit senior vice president/general manager Greg Hammaren confirmed to the Detroit Free Press.
BSD declined to provide an official statement regarding Morris' reinstatement. The Tigers begin a three-game series Friday with the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park and have 21 games remaining on the 2021 regular-season schedule.
Morris, 66, made the remark that led to his suspension on the Aug. 17 telecast, just as Ohtani was about to step to the plate for a matchup with Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez in the sixth inning at Comerica Park.
When play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard asked the retired MLB starting pitcher — elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 — how the Tigers should approach Ohtani in his upcoming at-bat, Morris replied, "Be very, very careful."
Morris used an accent that has been used to mock that of English-speaking Asians.
The next morning, Morris was indefinitely suspended from the broadcast and required to undergo bias training for education on "the impact of his comments and how he can be a positive influence in a diverse community," according to a statement from BSD. The network also stated it was "extremely disappointed with the remarks" and has "a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination and deeply apologize for his insensitive remark."