ESPN’s Passan trolls Stephen A. Smith over Ohtani comments
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) smiles toward the Seattle Mariners dugout during the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.  Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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 claims he was referring only to marketability, but Smith 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 Shoehei Ohtani’s new endorsement deal with Fanatics. The story also mentioned that the Los Angeles Angels star accounted for 28% 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.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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