ESPN host Stephen A. Smith is accused of xenophobia over his criticism of Major League Baseball player Shohei Ohtani. Smith stated that the MLB has a dwindling fanbase due to a variety of factors. One of the factors he mentioned is that the MLB has a star player (Ohtani) who cannot speak English and needs an interpreter. Shohei Ohtani is Japanese and often uses an interpreter during interviews, although he can speak limited English. The logic behind this statement is that the top players need to attract younger audiences to watch and play the game. Smith’s comments caused a firestorm of controversy which resulted in his apology.
Shohei Ohtani is a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani also has 33 home runs going into the All-Star Break, which is very rare. Usually, pitchers just pitch and that’s it. If they do step to the plate, they don’t perform very well. Ohtani is a star on the field comparable to Babe Ruth. A do-it-all type of guy.
“Woke” politics can be a tricky subject to navigate. Stephen A. Smith pointed out the lack of “diversity” in Major League Baseball when it comes to African-Americans while at the same time criticizing diversity when it comes to an Asian player who is not proficient in English. And it is doubtful that Smith will criticize the “African-American” dominant NBA for a lack of white American diversity. It appears as if Smith has a race-based ulterior motive. This can be complicated due to the obvious contradictions that one must embrace in order for racial biases to work in a corporate setting like ESPN.
Stephen A. Smith has apologized for his actions both in written form and on-air over at ESPN. Smith’s remarks were intended to address glaring problems with Major League Baseball that do, in fact, exist. The problem is that Shohei Ohtani’s inability to speak English proficiently is not truly a factor. Major League Baseball is becoming outdated. The games are long and can become quite boring. Much of the time is spent watching players stand around and spit out tobacco. The current MLB commissioner is trying to speed things up to modernize the game, but these changes are turning off some of the older fanbase.
It would be best if the MLB accepted their role as the #3 sport in the United States behind the NFL and NBA. The aforementioned sports offer much more excitement and replayability. Major League Baseball is not a dead sport, but it is simply not as exciting or as viewed as the two sports above it. Stephen A. Smith has a point about something needing to happen in order to attract more people to the game. But attacking one of the best two-way players to ever play simply does not make sense and is only a product of woke corporate culture over at ESPN.
Stephen A. Smith finally apologizes for Shohei Ohtani comments – New York Daily News
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith apologizes for comments about Shohei Ohtani
Stephen A. Smith apologizes for Shohei Ohtani ‘interpreter’ remarks