2:30 P.M. UPDATE
Jack Morris will undergo bias training and he's been suspended indefinitely after the racist commentary. Full update here.
Minnesota Twins World Series hero Jack Morris found himself apologizing on live TV after a racist comment that he says was unintentional.
During Tuesday's game between the Angels and Tigers, Bally Sports Detroit's play-by-play announcer asked Morris how the Tigers should pitch to Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani.
"Be very, very careful," Morris said while affecting a stereotypical accent, making the Rs in "very, very" sound like Ls.
It can be difficult for native Japanese or Chinese speakers, for example, to pronounce some English sounds because not everything in the English language is universal. Rhotics (Rs) and laterals (Ls) can be very difficult because those consonants simply aren't part of the Japanese language.
In the ninth inning, Morris apologized and said he didn't intend to offend anyone.
"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 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."
Intentional or not, Morris now finds himself being called a racist, along with calls for him to be fired.
"No matter whether they mean it or it's just so ingrained that they don't intend maliciousness: it's time to de-platform announcers like Jack Morris and Bob Brenly who say thoughtless stupid racialized shit and thus propagate more thoughtlessness. Hold people to higher standards," tweeted The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly.
Morris, 66, was a five-time All-Star and was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. In addition to providing commentary during Tigers games on Bally Sports Detroit, he also can be seen from time-to-time alongside Dick Bremer broadcasting Twins games on Bally Sports North.
In addition to his work with Bally Sports, Morris is a semi-regular guest of KFAN's Dan Barreiro during the MLB season.