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Cole Beasley, Kirk Cousins, Jack Morris, and the idiots of August

Cole Beasley, Kirk Cousins, Jack Morris, and the idiots of August

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1. Jack Morris

Image for article titled Idiot of the Month: Waving goodbye to a stupid summer

Illustration: Getty Images

Asians are actually just people. Asian Americans are actually just Americans.

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An Asian American woman, Olivia Rodrigo (half-Filipina) is the breakout music star of the year. Naomi Osaka, born in Japan and now a Californian, is one of the greatest tennis players in the world.

A Japanese man, Shohei Ohtani, is the best baseball player in the world at the moment. He’s doing things that have never been done. We’ve never seen an ace pitcher who throws 100 mph and also leads the league in home runs.

Unfortunately, a lot of the conversation around Ohtani has occurred when media members insult or mock him because of his race. Stephen A. Smith said a Japanese player can’t be the face of baseball. Jack Morris, Tigers announcer, used a mocking Asian accent when talking about how to pitch to him.

Smith issued a heartfelt apology on ESPN the next day.

Morris’ “apology” by contrast was boilerplate, insincere, and lame.

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“If I offended anyone…”

Buddy, in what way were you not intending to be offensive? Every Asian person in this country has heard this stuff and countless other microaggressions all their life. Asians are constantly belittled, demeaned, fetishized, and “Othered.” We’re not that far removed from a time when Japanese Americans who had committed no crime were put into internment camps during World War II. It was the ultimate Othering, because German Americans and Italian Americans did not suffer the same fate. Hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise, including a murder spree that killed six Asian women at massage parlors in Atlanta earlier this year.

Morris isn’t new to saying offensive stuff. As a pitcher, he told Jennifer Frey, “I only talk to women when I’m on top of them, or they’re on top of me.” Hahaha funny. Tigers exec Bo Schembechler thought so and defended him. Frey was an intern simply doing her job, she wasn’t there for sexual innuendo.

As Deadspin’s Jesse Spector wrote earlier this month, Morris also once said that he believed that “the Latin American players of 20-30 years ago, they knew not to show guys up.”

That kind of comment illustrates how the “unwritten rules” are really just meant to be used to tell non-white players to “know your place” mixed with some classic old fogeyism. Seems doubtful that an entire group of people as diverse as “Latin Americans” suddenly changed their views that much.

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Morris is currently suspended from his job and has issued no statements since. Will this be a learning moment for him, or is he just sulking in silence yearning for the days you could just be sexist and racist without being held accountable? We’ll see. For now, we can just call him an idiot.

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