Stephen A. Smith has apologized after making racial remarks about player Shohei Ohtani.
“But the fact that you got a foreign player that doesn’t speak English, that needs an interpreter … believe it or not, I think contributes to harming the game in some degree when that’s your box office appeal. It needs to be somebody like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, those guys. And unfortunately, at this moment in time, that’s not the case,” Smith said, sparking outrage.
After getting roasted on Twitter, Smith released the following apology statement:
“Let me apologize right now,” he started.
“As I’m watching things unfold, let me say that I never intended to offend ANY COMMUNITY, particularly the Asian community – and especially SHOHEI Ohtani, himself.
“As an African-American, keenly aware of the damage stereotyping has done to many in this country, it should’ve elevated my sensitivities even more. Based on my words, I failed in that regard and it’s on me, and me alone! Ohtani is one of the brightest stars in all of sports. He is making a difference, as it pertains to inclusiveness and leadership. I should have embraced that in my comments.”
Read the full apology below.