It seems like Stephen A. Smith’s Shohei Ohtani take isn’t popular among the people at ESPN.
On Monday afternoon, Smith drew the ire of the Internet when he said Ohtani, who is currently having a historic season in the MLB, couldn’t be the face of baseball and is actually “harming the game” because he doesn’t speak English and needs a translator.
Stephen A. Smith says Shohei Ohtani needing an interpreter "contributes to harming" baseball 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/2J5jRGartx
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) July 12, 2021
“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,
It was later revealed that the MLB is indeed going to be featuring Ohtani heavily during the All-Star break by having him pitch and bat in the All-Star game while also participating in the home run derby which led to ESPN’s Mina Kimes taking a shot at her colleague.