ESPN MLB Reporter Jeff Passan Confronts Stephen A. Smith Over His Controversial Shohei Ohtani Interpreter Comments

ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan took time out of his day to set Stephen A. Smith straight over his controversial comments about Shohei Ohtani.

On Monday afternoon Smith received a ton of backlash after he said Ohtani was “hurting the game” because he didn’t speak English and used an interpreter while speaking to the media.

“The fact that you got a foreign player that doesn’t speak English, that needs an interpreter, believe it or not, I think contributes to harming the game to some degree, when that’s your box-office appeal,”

“When you talk about an audience, gravitating to the tube, or to the ballpark to actually watch you, I don’t think it helps that the No. 1 face … needs an interpreter to understand what the hell he’s saying,”

After hearing Smith’s comments Passan promised to make an appearance on “First Take” to share his thoughts on the situation.

During his appearance on “First Take” Passan said Ohtani is living the American dream and that ESPN should embrace him instead of “trafficking in ignorance.”

“[Ohtani] is the sort of person who this show, who this network, who this country should embrace,” “We are not the ones who should be trafficking in ignorance.”

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Brobible sports editor. Jorge is a Miami native and lifelong Heat fan. He has been covering the NBA, MLB and NFL professionally for almost 10 years, specializing in digital media. Email: