Watch: Stephen A. Smith went on a bigoted rant against Shohei Ohtani on First Take (Video)

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith said Shohei Ohtani being the face of baseball is bad because English isn’t his first language.

On a long enough timeline, the hot take machine becomes so hot that it explodes and destroys everyone around it like the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Stephen A. Smith once again stared directly into the hot take machine like it was the sun and barfed out a take that even for First Take is pretty awful.

The topic of conversation on Monday’s First Take was Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels two-way star who spends some nights striking out batters and other nights bashing home runs. Smith and co-host Max Kellerman were discussing if Ohtani being baseball’s top attraction at the moment is good or bad for baseball (a stupid and loaded question, if ever there was one for First Take).

There are a few different directions this topic could go, even for someone who is merely a casual observer of baseball. One direction could be about how Ohtani is doing something only Babe Ruth has done, and another could be how baseball has yet another exciting young star who American fans can rally around as well as international fans.

In just a half-season of play, Ohtani has 33 home runs, 56 extra-base hits, a .698 slugging percentage, has stolen 12 bases in 16 attempts, and shares the league lead in triples. He has also 4-1 in 13 starts on the mound and boasts a 3.49 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 67 innings.

Make no mistake, what Ohtani is doing is historic and it rules.

Smith chose instead to talk about why Ohtani being baseball’s top attraction is a bad thing because his first language isn’t English.

Stephen A. Smith rants about Shohei Ohtani not knowing how to speak English

“I don’t think it helps that the number one face is a dude that needs an interpreter so you can understand what the hell he’s saying,” Smith said on First Take. 

It just gets worse from there.

“If you are a star and you need an interpreter… that might have something to do with your inability to ingratiate yourself with that young demographic to attract them to a sport”

For the record, Ohtani knows how to speak English perfectly fine which is something he demonstrated back in 2019 in a speech that was entirely in English.

Smith immediately caught heat for his tone-deaf comment:

Baseball has had a long tradition of non-American players coming to the game and changing it in amazing and awesome ways. From Roberto Clemente to Pedro Martinez to Ichiro, the fabric of baseball is stitched across the entire globe.

Someone doesn’t need to know the finer details of baseball’s storied past to know that disqualifying a player based on race or ethnicity is a great way to get on the absolute worst side of history.

Ohatani is exactly the type of star that America’s Pasttime needs and corny uninformed hot takes like the one Stephen A. Smith barfed up are exactly what it doesn’t.

Even for First Take, this is pretty bad.

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