ESPN’s Jeff Passan didn’t take kindly to a baseball fan on Twitter who took a shot at Latino MLB stars.
Baseball is a worldly sport, and with that comes the expectation that the best pound-for-pound players in the greatest league could be from just about anywhere. Despite most MLB fans embracing that fact, there are still a number of supporters stuck in a previous century.
In discussing who might be the next MLB player to earn a contract similar to that of Patrick Mahomes, who received a deal that could exceed $500 million with incentives from the Kansas City Chiefs, ESPN’s Jeff Passan revealed several stars of Latin descent. Passan suggested that Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña, Fernando Tatis Jr. or even Wander Franco could compete with Mahomes as the most influential player of the next decade.
Jeff Passan took a Twitter user to task for insulting Latin MLB players.
Unfortunately, while Twitter does provide a platform for positive messages, negativity often gets more attention for all the wrong reasons. A user responded to Passan, saying that hopefully, an athlete with that much influence could speak English.
Passan quickly bashed the insensitive comment, first proving him wrong and then making a greater point, which is that their language of choice and background shouldn’t impact how much they are paid for their trade of choice (baseball, obviously), or their eventual impact on the game itself.
Passan is direct and correct in his assessment. First, all of these players either speak fluent English or are making an effort to better their language skills as to be able to communicate more directly with their fans. It’s a selfless act that ought to be applauded, rather than picked apart.
The likes of Acuña, Tatis, Soto and Franco cannot control where they came from. Acclimating to a new country, let alone one where they must take on the pressure of being the face of an MLB franchise, takes time. And thus far, they’re doing so quite well.