Stephen A. Smith called out Blake Snell and Bryce Harper for not letting the MLBPA handle financial negotiations to restart the MLB season.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell recently made headlines when he said he refused to play for another pay cut in 2020. Though some fans have supported Snell and the players, Snell has received a ton of criticism for his comments. That didn’t stop Bryce Harper from supporting Snell. Nolan Arenado also has defended Snell.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith was having none of it. Smith is one of the most outspoken, and vocal sports commentators today, though he usually reserves his hot takes for the NFL or the NBA. Aside from the Houston Astros cheating scandal, he doesn’t often speak on baseball. He did have some harsh words for Snell and Harper on First Take, however:
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 15, 2020
Smith expressed the anger many fans feel from players complaining about how much money they make when so many people are struggling right now. However, many fans feel that the players should get what they have already been promised. Max Kellerman pointed out the owners are much richer.
As a fan watching this all unfold, it’s hard to take either side on this issue. Both sides are much better off financially than most of us are and should understand sacrifices need to be made in order for baseball to be played this season and to stay financially healthy long-term.
Smith’s real problem seemed to be it’s up to the MLBPA to handle these negotiations and that it was imprudent for Snell to say what he did. Regardless of which side is right and by how much, Snell came across as out-of-touch in his video, even if that wasn’t his intent. It also showed bad faith in his union and probably stoked the fires that are already burning on this issue.
Still, Smith made it clear how he feels. And like many of his other takes, there figures to be plenty of both agreement and disagreement with him on this.