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#pounditMonday, August 2, 2021

ESPN’s Jeff Passan trolls Stephen A. Smith over Shohei Ohtani comments

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith made some controversial remarks about Shohei Ohtani last week that he has since apologized for, but that isn’t going to stop one of his co-workers from continuing to ridicule him.

Smith was heavily criticized when he said before the All-Star Game that Major League Baseball has a problem if its biggest star doesn’t speak English. He was referring only to marketability, but he was torn apart on social media and elsewhere. ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan was among those who ripped Smith publicly, and he threw another shot at his colleague on Tuesday.

Passan tweeted a link to an article about Ohtani’s new endorsement deal with Fanatics. The story also mentioned that the Los Angeles Angels star accounted for 28 percent of all merchandise sales at the 2021 MLB All-Star Game. Passan wrote “Shohei Ohtani can’t be the face of baseball” in addition to tweeting the link. He used alternating lowercase and capital letters, which is a way of mocking someone via social media or text.

Smith initially stood by his remarks about Ohtani, but he later backed down. Pressure from Passan and others likely had a lot to do with that. Passan blasted him during an on-air segment that included both him and Smith. You can see that video here.

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