People are not happy with Stephen A. Smith over a recent take he had about Shohei Ohtani.
While discussing the MLB’s newest sensation and Los Angeles Angels pitcher, the ESPN star said it’s not great for the MLB that Ohtani doesn’t speak great English. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
“I don’t think it helps that the number one face is a dude that needs an interpreter so you can understand what the hell he’s saying in this country,” Smith told his audience Monday. It didn’t take long at all for people to lose their minds!
Stephen A. Smith on Shohei Ohtani: “I don’t think it helps that the number one face is a dude that needs an interpreter so you can understand what the hell he’s saying in this country.”
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 12, 2021
This xenophobic stance by Stephen A. Smith isn’t just an off the cuff “hot take.” This isn’t “barbershop talk.” This is a produced segment. This “take” is accompanied by graphics. This “take” is a segment that was previously discussed in morning meetings.
— L E F T, PhD (@LeftSentThis) July 12, 2021
Nobody: Shohei Ohtani is a pretty good ball player
Stephen A Smith: HE CANT EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH!!! pic.twitter.com/8JZibFWV0M
— LONG LIVE MAMBA (@lakurnashun) July 12, 2021
dude wtf… this is not ok. how are more people not talking about Stephen A. Smith saying “in this country” it’s bad for the sport to have the face be a guy who “needs an interpreter to understand what the hell he’s saying”
— Vinnie (@VinRBI) July 12, 2021
I hate to defend ESPN here, but everyone needs to relax. What Stephen A. Smith said makes sense, and he’s not being malicious at all.
Right now, Ohtani is the biggest name in baseball. He’s taking the league over by storm. Yet, his ability to market himself is certainly hampered by the fact he doesn’t speak fluent English. That doesn’t mean he won’t be great at marketing himself! That doesn’t mean that he’s not a bonafide superstar! It simply means his lack of English skills handcuff him a bit.
Stephen A Smith said Ohtani is bad for baseball because he needs an interpreter. pic.twitter.com/CeFzIpmLaO
— Mantic (@themanzcj) July 12, 2021
If you don’t speak great English, it’s hard to just speak off the cuff, which is what people love to see. That’s the point Stephen A. Smith was making.
He wasn’t trying to say that foreigners aren’t welcome in America or that fans hate players for Japan. In order to believe that’s Stephen A. Smith’s stance, you’d have to have a real galaxy brain!
ESPN watching Stephen A Smith’s comments about Shohei Ohtani pic.twitter.com/PYyFuMI8tR
— CleWest (@erjmanlasvegas) July 12, 2021
Baseball struggles to get eyeballs as it is. Pointing out that having a player front and center who isn’t a natural with the media isn’t some insanely racist thing to say. It’s just a mostly accurate observation.
You’d have to be really dumb to think otherwise, or you’d just have to have no good faith in listening to his argument.
What Stephen Smith is saying in his comments about Shohei Ohtani is “You don’t speak English. You don’t belong here. You aren’t American enough.” Over and over and over again. https://t.co/XWAutYXyhR
— Yuh-Line Niou (@yuhline) July 12, 2021
Here’s something else that I’ll point out. Foreign basketball players come to the USA who don’t speak great English, and they can often struggle with the media. At the same time, I know Americans who played overseas and couldn’t do anything really to market their teams because they didn’t know the local language at all.
Stephen A Smith going full MAGA on Shohei Ohtani. This is fucking gross!
— Angels Fake Fan Police (@CantHitWRISP) July 12, 2021