Six months ago, Stephen A. Smith decided that it's bad that Shohei Ohtani's the face of baseball because he needs an interpreter:
These xenophobic comments from Stephen A. Smith aren't all too surprising, as this is not the first time he has resorted to racism on ESPN. He is the same one who said that Colin Kaepernick doesn't actually want to play in the NFL when Kaepernick had to change the venue of his 2019 workout due to the NFL not allowing the venue it was set up to be at let media cover the event. He claimed that Kaepernick, who was black-balled from the NFL for peacefully protesting during the National Anthem, isn't being black-balled but is actually not playing because he just "wants to be a martyr."
Smith received quite the backlash for these comments, and received quite the backlash for his comments on Ohtani as well. Nobody agreed with him, and then Ohtani went on to have what is being considered the greatest season in sports history. It's almost like performance on the field is what really matters here.
Shohei Ohtani gracefully responded to Stephen A. Smith's comments in his GQ interview this week.
Shohei Ohtani wasn't necessarily trying to bury Stephen A. Smith for his racist comments against ShoTime, but did and it was awesome. The fact that he was able to flame Smith while being so classy about it at the same time was great:
The LA Angels 2021 AL MVP answered GQ perfectly. Ohtani was signed by the Halos to play baseball for the Halos, and he's done more than just that. Clearly the whole interpreter thing hasn't stopped him, as he not only hit 46 home runs and drove in 103 runs while posting a 3.18 ERA and 1.090 WHIP, but he also won the Commissioner's Historic Achievement award. This award has only been given to someone 16 times in Major League Baseball history.
Call me crazy, but I think that the face of baseball being so important that he wins an award so rare and prestigious shows that the face of baseball needing an interpreter isn't so big of a problem. Baseball clearly agrees with me by handing him this award. Ohtani said he would speak English to the media if he could, but he's proven to not need it.
What makes Smith's comments even more delusional is that he said this when the 10 highest-viewed games in baseball at that point were Ohtani games.
It's clear that Smith doesn't follow baseball. He's been criticized in the past for not discussing and understanding baseball at all unless it's about his New York Yankees, and these comments confirmed that.