Stephen A. Smith Thinks It’s A Problem Shohei Ohtani Needs An Interpreter

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UPDATE: Stephen A. Smith just made it worse.

Stephen A. Smith is no stranger to grabbing the headlines with outrageous takes, but today’s remarks about Angels’ star Shohei Ohtani were next level asinine.

ESPN bloviator Stephen A. Smith fired up the Shohei Ohtani hot take Keno machine and landed on a wild take Monday morning where he explained that Major League Baseball has a real problem on its hands because the “No. 1 dude needs an interpreter so you can understand what the hell he’s saying in this country.” Now imagine Curt Schilling saying that. Imagine the uproar. Every single ESPN blue checkmark across the World Wide Leader would be calling for Schilling’s head five minutes after he said it. The Sarah Spains of the world would be so outraged that they would lead protests until Schilling was fired. Her phone would’ve been LIT with all of her blue checkmark girlfriends saying how they need to lead a revolution until this kind of nonsense is expunged from the network. Meanwhile, Spain is silent. Her woke ESPN coworkers are silent. Katie Nolan’s been silent the last 20 hours. She’s off spending her millions. Maria Taylor’s off trying to figure out how to get $8 million out of ESPN. Rachel Nichols has been silent since July 6 with her own problems. Justice warrior Stan Verrett has had nothing to say here. Elle Duncan has nothing. Domonique Foxworth is silent. You get the picture here. Let’s see how the wokes and the blue checkmarks handle this business. The likely outcome here is that they’ll stay silent because the more money Stephen A. makes, the more money they can ask for in contract negotiations. Now, let’s hear Ohtani speak English back in 2019. Skip to the 3:04 mark. You make the call: Is this really a problem for Major League Baseball? Now let’s hear Screamin’ A. double down on Ohtani not being marketable because he can’t speak English, yet we just heard him speak English: Keep in mind how Ohtani’s going to help grow the game over the next two nights. Does he really need to speak English when this is what he’s giving to the sport? You know who’s a problem for baseball? The moron commissioner who doesn’t even like the game.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. According to Critical Race Theory (CRT) … People of Color (POC) can say / do ANYTHING they want to because there was once Slavery in America. Ergo… SAS is immune from ANY criticism PERIOD.

    What part of “SAS can say/do ANYTHING” are we not understanding here folks? ….. YEEEEE HAA!

    • I agree. If you’re going to carry a sport as the face of it you need to become fluent in the primary language paying you. It’s not just Ohtani though. There are Spanish speaking guys who’ve been here for multiple years who still can’t answer questions in freakin English. Ronald Acuna and Vlad Guerrero JR for example still can’t do an interview in English, and they’re two of the biggest stars. Acuna is in his 4th year too, so it’s not like he hasn’t been around the language. He’s just not trying. Vlad Jr was born in CANADA and can’t speak English! I mean, come on, at least TRY. It only hurts your marketability. Look at Lindor. He speaks fluent English and got a giant deal in NYC. That deal wouldn’t happen if he couldn’t conduct an interview in English.

    • That’s only when the minority group fits their narrative. Asians come here and work hard and thrive so they don’t really help the “it’s all whiteys fault shtick”. Asians prove what conservatives have been saying all along, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what race you are, if you work hard and stay out of trouble the skys the limit.

      • Also you don’t see Asians jumping on the hoods of ambulances when the emt’s pull up to the scene of a gang shooting. But I’m sure that’s whiteys fault too.

      • THIS was my thought exactly — any one who WORKS HARD will make in America. All they have to do is what the other successful people do: Shut up and get it done!

        I got this Hispanic kid that works for me – his dad is 1st generation American. He shows up about ever month or so, just to make sure his kid is working and doing a good job — hell, yes he is! The kid is in College, and I want to promote him, but he’d have to drop out of college — and his dad is SO PROUD that his son in IN COLLEGE – – I’m gonna offer him the promotion after he graduates, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford him!

  2. This must be one of those examples where progressives thinks Asian people are actually white. Like when Yale or Harvard exclude them based on their skin color in the name of “diversity.” Or when they want to remove grade requirements and testing to get into an honors school. Nothing to see here, just more of that “tolerant racism” from our friends on the left

  3. I just checked both rosters for this weeks MLB ASG …. I bet 50% of the total are not “fluent” in English and require interpreters at some level.

    Baseball has not been The All-American Game for well over a decade or more.

    • This guy, who I don’t think I have ever seen “live,” is the reason I DON’T go back to ESPN to see if maybe they got better from a decade ago when I stopped watching. AS long as ESPN keeps doing politics along with sports, I don’t care to watch – I want to know who won and a few details, I don’t need political acid thrown on my face – especially since TV is a one-way street, where I have no chance at rebuttal.

  4. Funny I never heard him say the same about Ronald Acuna Jr. (no knock on him, he’s a badass) or any number of other up-and-coming stars of the last few years who spoke through interpreters….what could it be?….

  5. Imagine if a white “journalist” were to suggest that a MLB star player from a Latin American nation made the league look bad because he had to use an interpreter. Mr. Smith would crap himself as he ran to the nearest camera trying to cancel that guy.

    Smith is nothing but a race baiting buffoon. That the Four Letter Network pays him $12million a year is just embarrassing for ABC/Disney.

    • NEVER forget these are “actors” reading a script. This guy has no clever athletic insight that is above the average Joe. Smith is just a dude who reads a good teleprompter and did well on (or beside) the Casting couch. Smith sold his soul to be famous and rich — has has to continue to spew his hatred or he is of NO USE to the Publicity Pushers.

  6. Lots of comments about hard work & staying out of trouble leads to success in the USA. So true but AA communities are in a tough spot. Broken families, horrible education and no local work because there are no businesses doing business in their precincts. When you analyze the root cause it gets down to relationships. The men & women just don’t respect one another and therefore don’t get along. Can’t build a community when the gals do nothing but complain about the guys and the guys aren’t proud to be associated with the gals in enduring relationships. They revert to gangs. Gals revert to raising children on their own. The culture sucks. Government can’t fix that and it’s been proven through the years.

  7. If there is any minority that should be at odds with White folks you would think it would be Asians. We fought them in WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam. Yet, it’s not so. We get along well. Asians have embraced the opportunities America presents and have done very well. Blacks on the other hand appear to resent anyone who works hard, doesn’t complain and is successful. Generalizing, I know but…

  8. I have no problem with what SAS said. He may be wrong, but he’s entitled to say it and be wrong – it is funny to witness the left eat their own. His groveling apology was weak. He uses his race to shield himself and mentions he was insensitive to Asians who are being attacked. Newsflash: most of the attacks against Asians are perpetrated by blacks.

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