SAN FRANCISCO — Derek Holland has come under fire since an interview he gave Thursday with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar of MLB Network’s Intentional Talk alongside Giants massage therapist Haro Ogawa. Holland used an Asian accent and Asian stereotypes while speaking with the two MLB Network hosts.
Deadspin was one of the first organizations to note the interview. Giants spokesperson Matt Chisholm issued a statement to them Thursday:
“The Giants organization does not condone that type of behavior in any way,” Giants spokesperson Matt Chisholm told Deadspin. “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.”
Chisholm said that Holland and Ogawa are friends, and that Holland has been to Japan and “speaks a little bit of the language.” “If you know Haro, these guys are friends in the clubhouse,” Chisholm said. “They both, you know, poke fun at one another. But, by no means at all is he trying to get across that he’s racist.”
Holland briefly apologized before the Giants’ Thursday game against the New York Mets, saying, “I want to make sure it’s clear that was all on me. Now it’s become a distraction to the team. I don’t want that. I don’t want to have offended anybody.”
Before Friday’s game against the Texas Rangers, Holland fleshed out his thoughts some more.
“I would like to start by apologizing for the situation that obviously took place not too long ago in New York with Haro, our massage therapist,” Holland said. “I’m not trying to offend anybody, it was not meant to come off the way that it did. I apologize for anyone that I have affected with this or offended as well. This was not the intention. We were just trying to have fun. Haro and I were goofing off. Obviously, I crossed the line and went too far. The intentions were definitely nowhere near to be like this, and it sucks that we’re in this situation. I’ve now caused a distraction to this team, my teammates, the organization, city of San Francisco.
“This is not what this was supposed to be. Again, I’m truly sorry. I want all the blame to be pointed at me, though. This should not be toward San Francisco or Intentional Talk. This is more of me and Haro, I’m going to say myself, my idea, here, of this whole situation. This was definitely on me. And I want all the responsibilities for this. Whatever comes down, it’s going to be on me. This is for me. And again, I am truly sorry for everything that I have caused with this situation. It was not supposed to be this way, or handled the way it was. And I’ve got to move past this and/or do anything I can to help resolve this and get this situation get taken care of. Because we need to be focusing on baseball, not something that I have caused to this team.”
When asked if he understand why people thought his actions were insensitive, Holland responded as such:
“I mean, no matter how you look at it, it may be funny to us, or anybody that got a laugh out of that,” he said. “It’s not funny to everybody else. And the thing is, we’re not trying to offend anybody, and that is what happened. So with that being said, we shouldn’t have done that to begin with. We screwed up the whole situation by doing that. Our entertainment was somebody else’s humility. It was not good.”
He also said he understands where people who were offended by the skit were coming from.
“Yeah, oh yeah, of course,” Holland said. “And I understand that. And, I mean, it’s—like I said, we were just trying to have a skit, trying to have some fun with it, and I’m the one that took it too far. You know, Haro agreed to be out there with me and partake in this, but again, I put him in a tough situation. It shouldn’t have been that way.”
Regarding punishment handed down for the incident, Holland said nothing has been decided yet.
“We just got back, so I’m awaiting what will happen,” he said. “And we’ll handle it once that time comes. I’ve here to take whatever actions are filed towards me. I have to accept the punishment, whatever is along those lines.”