Many are taking issue with what Stephen A. Smith had to say about Shohei Ohtani.
Shohei Ohtani has been nothing short of incredible for the Los Angeles Angels this season. The man is a starting pitcher and he is also the best slugger in baseball right now. He leads the entire league with 33 home runs and when it comes to his ERA, he is posting a respectable 3.49 in his 13 starts on the mound. Needless to say, Ohtani is the type of superstar that baseball has been sorely lacking for a very long time. For years, it's been said that the demographics for the sport have been shifting, however, with Ohtani's current run in mind, the league is seeing its best ratings in years.
With the All-Star Game going down tomorrow, Ohtani is currently in the news because he is going to be a starting pitcher and the leading batter for the American League. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to escape the criticism of Stephen A. Smith, who went on First Take today and said that it was bad for Major League Baseball that Ohtani needed an interpreter to answer questions from the press. Ohtani is from Japan and since English isn't his first language, he hasn't been able to communicate as other players would.
This rant immediately caught people's attention as they noted his comments were rooted in xenophobia and that Ohtani is simply too good of a player to receive such criticism. Fans even harkened back to a segment Smith did just a few days ago in which he claimed the MLB wasn't doing a good enough job marketing Ohtani. The hypocrisy was on full display, and just moments ago, Smith took to Twitter with a clarification of what he meant.
As Smith explains, he simply meant that the language barrier is making it difficult for the league to promote him to a United States audience. Considering Ohtani's games are eliciting the biggest ratings across Major League Baseball, it's clear that Smith's comments aren't based around any concrete facts, and are simply feelings based.
In the tweets below, you can see that there was a large amount of outrage when it comes to Smith's comments, as some fans felt like they were racist in nature. Let us know what you thought of Smith's segment, in the comments below.