San Francisco Giants pitcher Derek Holland apologized Thursday after appearing to make fun of Asian people during a TV interview a day earlier.
Appearing on “Intentional Talk,” which airs on MLB Network and ESPN2, Holland had Giants massage therapist Haro Ogawa, who is Japanese, by his side as he spoke in a mock Asian voice and bowed several times throughout the interview.
Holland never identifies Ogawa by name or reveals his position with the team, but only refers to him as his “hype man.”
Whatever the joke was intended to be, Ogawa apparently was in on it.
“Me and Haro were just doing a bit,” Holland told reporters in a prepared statement. “We didn’t expect it to turn out the way that it did.”
But Holland also said he takes sole responsibility for the matter and that he has apologized to Ogawa as well as bullpen catcher Taira Uematsu, who also is Japanese.
“I apologize for what has come about of this and definitely directing negativity toward the organization, my teammates and obviously Haro and Taira,” Holland said. “I want to make sure everybody understands this is all on me and I apologize for what I have done. Whatever I have to do to take care of the situation, I will do it.”
Giants spokesperson Matt Chisholm told Deadspin: “The Giants organization does not condone that type of behavior in any way. We spoke to Derek regarding his interview yesterday and he completely understands the severity of the situation and he apologizes if it offended anyone. That was not his intention at all, but he’s taking full responsibility for it. It was not his intention at all to embarrass Haro.”