fbpx
Connect with us

Headlines

Stephen A. Smith ‘Sincerely Sorry’ for Xenophobic Comments About Asian Baseball Player

Published

on

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith has issued an apology after receiving backlash for xenophobic comments about Major League Baseball player Shohei Ohtani.

What We Know:

  • Ohtani is a designated pitcher and hitter for the Los Angeles Angels and joined the MLB team back in December 2017. He leads the pack with 33 home runs this season and has a 3.49 ERA on the pitcher’s mound, prompting many to consider him the best two-way baseball player in decades. Ohtani was voted by fans to participate in the 2021 MLB All-Star Game as the American League’s starting designated hitter and was chosen to also be the team’s starting pitcher for the game.
  • The 27-year-old was born in Japan and moved to the country when he signed with the Angels. He tends to speak in his native language of Japanese and uses an interpreter when interviewing with reporters. According to USA Today, the baseball player knows how to speak English and Spanish, but isn’t fluent enough in English to confidently speak it at press conferences.
  • During Monday’s episode of Smith’s show “First Take,” he stated that Ohtani shouldn’t be the face of the league if he has to speak through an interpreter. Smith believes that the use of an interpreter in the MLB “compromises the ability for [foreign players] to ingratiate themselves with the American public.” He was asked if it was good for the MLB to have Ohtani as their “No. 1 attraction,” in which Smith responded no, it should be Bryce Harper or Mike Trout -both white players- due to Ohtani’s language barrier making it hard for the MLB to market him.

  • Smith received backlash on social media and from colleagues for the “xenophobic” comments. Pablo Torre, host of “ESPN Daily Podcast,” stated that Ohtani shouldn’t have to “cut up little English soundbites,” in order to communicate to the public. Mina Kimes, an NFL analyst for ESPN, brought up Ohtani’s skills on the baseball field and how his success translates in all languages. Former ESPN commentator Keith Olbermann wants Smith suspended because his comments contribute to the increase of “anti-Asian” violence that the country has seen since the start of the pandemic.
  • The opinionated sports analyst released an apology Monday night on his Twitter page voicing his “sincere apologies” for offending the Asian and Asian American communities. He admitted that he stereotyped Ohtani, and as a Black man, he knows the damage that stems from stereotyping individuals. Smith wrote that Ohtani is one of the “biggest stars in sports” and that he presents inclusiveness and leadership skills within the sport. He acknowledged that he screwed up and that his comments were insensitive, especially during a time of racial and social change. Smith also gave a verbal apology Tuesday on his show.

ESPN baseball reporter Jeff Passan and staff writer Joon Lee were brought onto Tuesday’s episode to speak on the subject with Smith and hold him accountable for his comments. Meanwhile, Ohtani went on to make history by being the first Japanese-born player to participate in the Home Run Derby and the first player to be starting pitcher and leadoff hitter in an MLB All-Star Game. He secured the American League’s win over the National League in Tuesday night’s game, 5-2.

Comments

comments

Headlines

Yvonne Orji apologizes to fan after sharing encounter at women’s empowerment event

Published

on

“I’m saddened that’s how you left the event feeling after an encounter with me,” the ‘Insecure’ actress responded.

Insecure actress Yvonne Orji has responded to being called out on Twitter by a fan who recalled her “rudeâ€� encounter with the star at an event. 

It all started when Twitter user Crystal with the handle @thecrystaluncut responded to another user who asked: “who was the ‘meanest’ celeb you’ve ever met?�

In a series of tweets, Crystal recounted an encounter she had with Orji at a Women’s Empowerment event, writing: “I met Yvonne Orji at a WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE. She was about to give her speech and I asked for a pic while she was waiting. She said no. I respect her privacy, move on and take my seat in the front row.

She continues, “She gets to the part of her speech about being persistent. She’s like ‘I only got to where I got because I never took no for an answer.’

And then she gestures over to me and says something like, ‘That girl wanted a picture with me, but I said no. If she were more intentional about what she wants, maybe she’d have her pic.’

Crystal added, “In the moment I was like uhh that was rude. I thought she might come up to me and be like oh I was joking and take the pic but no. That put a bad taste in my mouth about her forever. And I didn’t even want the pic that bad! I just thought it would be cool to post on my story.�

In a separate tweet, she went on to say… “One last thing — I had JUST read Gabrielle Union’s first book. There’s a part where she stepped away from dinner with her friend who was dying of cancer to take a pic w a fan and she still regrets it. So I was trying to be extra sensitive I was proud for walking away so quickly.”

Crystal shared a video of the moment Orji called her out from the stage at the event, and noted in the caption: “My words were not correct in the first tweet (I knew I didn’t remember exactly, as indicated by me saying she said “something like�) and she did not call me “that girl.� Yet STILL somehow the actual video is more painful. Why is she pointing?!�

Orji caught wind of Crystal’s tweeter thread and responded “Hey Crystal, I’m saddened that’s how you left the event feeling after an encounter with me. Truly wasn’t my intention to make you feel anything less than the beautiful woman you are.�

Black Twitter wasn’t feeling Orji’s response and wasted no time putting the Nigerian-American actress on blast. 

One user replied: “Lmao how did you come to the conclusion she felt “less than beautiful”?â€�

Another wrote, “When does “No� actually mean no with you guys. Then go ahead to make an example of her because she respected your choice.�

A third joked, “Yvonne Orji said if you want a pic with her you need to put it in your manifestation journal.�

The 2020 MAKERS Conference - Day Two
Yvonne Orji / Getty

Another Twitter user commented, “Persistence isn’t when you seek PERMISSION for a picture and the answer is NO. That is CONSENT. Any “persistence” in your case can be termed HARRASSMENT & any sensible person would also walk away. Yet u decided to used her as an example? Wow! Sorry but you are mean. Pls own it.â€�

Twitter user @kirasadhana noted that had Crystal persisted for a photo, “Orji would probably have requested intervention by security. Worse, the message being left behind muddies the water around what clear boundaries are. Can’t have it both ways.â€�

In related news, Orji has been tapped to host Amazon’s second Yearly Departed comedy special, which is set to premiere in December. Per THR, the lineup of comedians will be announced later.

“In my career, I’ve been fortunate to work on a show that was created by Blacks, for Black characters, and now, I get to host a special that was written by all women, featuring a lineup of incredibly funny female comedians, directed by a talented female director, and produced by a group of amazing female producers,� said Orji. “I guess lightning CAN strike twice.�

Added Vernon Sanders, head of television at Amazon Studios, “With another chaotic year of ups and downs almost behind us, we’re ready to say goodbye to 2021 — and who better to send the year off than the funniest women in the business. Yvonne, Rachel (executive producer Rachel Brosnahan), and the entire team will help Prime Video viewers end 2021 with some much-needed laughter.�

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture� podcast? Download our newest episodes now! TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today

The post Yvonne Orji apologizes to fan after sharing encounter at women’s empowerment event appeared first on TheGrio.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Headlines

Arizona man says he fatally shot estranged wife, infant daughter due to ‘deal with spirit’

Published

on

Investigators say the woman was a longtime victim of domestic abuse and that her husband admitted he’s struggled with mental illness.

An Arizona mother and her 11-year-old daughter are dead after being shot and killed by their husband and father. FOX News in Phoenix reports that a lengthy history of domestic violence and possible mental illness led to the tragedy. 

Per Phoenix Police, the incident happened just before 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4. Louis Mouton III, 34, reportedly went to speak with his estranged wife, Lanae Mouton, 32, at her home about the state of their relationship. Lanae walked back into the house with their 11-month-old daughter Ava after the conversation ended. That’s when investigators say Louis did the unthinkable.

“The male kicked in the door and fired several shots. The female and their 11-month-old child both were struck,” Sgt. Vincent Cole said. The victims were transported to a nearby hospital where they died from their injuries.

“The loss of a child…many of the first responders you see out here, we’re fathers and mothers ourselves,” Sgt. Cole continued. “So dealing with something like that, it can be a life-changing traumatic event for first responders.”

Louis was arrested near the scene of the crime and immediately booked. He’s now facing burglary charges, along with first-degree murder charges. His bail is set at $2 million.

One neighbor says she saw no signs of anything amiss in the family.

“It’s sad. The wife used to bring us milk and cereal and stuff like that. I used to talk to her husband,” the neighbor told reporters.

According to AZFamily, the couple were high school sweethearts who had been together for more than 16 years and shared four children.

But Louis’ suspected mental illness is believed to be a contributing factor. When police discovered him at the scene of the crime, they said he was yelling that “they made him do it.�

“Louis admitted afterwards he attempted to shoot himself and commit suicide but the handgun was empty,” court documents read. “Louis exited the apartment and was contacted by responding officers in the parking lot. Louis told investigators he suffered from schizophrenia.

“He saw and heard spirits and aliens and was frequently possessed by them. They used his body to do actions he could not control. Louis said he made a deal with a spirit that he and his wife could be together forever but they had to die.”

He also told investigators that his wife was supposed to die but his daughter was not, adding that he “didn’t agree to his daughter being killed in the deal he made with the spirit.â€�

Family members say Louis was abusive. Lanae’s brother, Robert Wheatley, told reporters he’s dealing with a number of emotions.

“It’s anger. It was pain. When they told me that she was shot, it was fear,” he said. “What else could I have done? What could we have done different? Where could we have had more impact?”

They also say Louis never took no for an answer. “He always needed one more talk. There was nothing left to talk about, but he always needed one more talk, and she always let him have one more talk,” Lanae’s mother Kathy Wheatley said. 

It’s been a difficult situation for Lanae’s twin sister, Lauren Riley, to accept.

“It was hard. I just laid down on the floor. I couldn’t even stand up. Couldn’t process it, couldn’t believe it. It’s a lot, you know. She’s always been a part of me,” she said.

Lanae’s family told AZFamily that they hoped her death might help other women trapped in the cycle of domestic violence and other familes who see it going on.

“‘It’s their relationship. We’re not going to get in the middle of it,’” a family member said. “No, we got to get in the middle of it. We have to stop this type of behavior.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Cultureâ€� podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!

The post Arizona man says he fatally shot estranged wife, infant daughter due to ‘deal with spirit’ appeared first on TheGrio.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Headlines

D.C. father pleads for help after he and daughters are hit by car walking to school

Published

on

A GoFundMe account the father set up has raised more than $50,000.

A D.C. father is experiencing the unthinkable after he and his two daughters were hit by a car walking to school. The moment left all three traumatized, said father Tyrone Belton.

“I looked to my left, I just saw the front of the Jeep — it just rammed me,� Belton said in an interview with WTOP. “I really thought my kids made it across the street.� He quickly realized 8-year-old Faith and 6-year-old Heavyn were also hit. Ironically, the incident occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 6, which is National Walk to School Day.

Belton has a broken ankle, and Faith a broken leg. Heavyn’s injuries, however, are more severe: She will require surgeries for facial injuries. Currently, all three are home and recovering, but Belton is trying his hardest to help his girls recover emotionally.Â

“It’s kind of hard to see them like that. They literally will put a smile on your face, and you don’t even have to know them,� he said. “They will light up your world. I’m hurt, as a man, so I can just imagine what my kids are going through.�

Belton said his daughter’s have changed for the worse because of the accident, including signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and a fear to go outside. She prefers to be at her grandmother’s house, “She’s got all her cousins over there, to comfort her,â€� Belton explained.

DC crosswalk screenshot (Credit: WUSA video)

“I just want to be able to give them whatever they need, and let them be able to do whatever they want to try to take their mind off things. Even if it’s just for the moment. I just want to see them smile again.�

Belton set up a GoFundMe page to help cover medical costs and other expenses for the girls. Currently, he’s raised more than $50,000, far exceeding his $5,000 goal. He says the financial donations will help him pay for some temporary distractions for his girls.

He’s unable to work right now due to the accident, but said he’s by the generosity people have shown.

“Truly, I appreciate all that love they’ve been showing my kids,” he said. “I’ve never seen that from just random people, who don’t even know me or my kids. I honestly felt more good about reading all the comments than seeing the money. Just reading those comments — I felt it in my spirit.â€�

The driver of the Jeep was charged at the scene with several violations.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast â€œDear Cultureâ€�? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

The post D.C. father pleads for help after he and daughters are hit by car walking to school appeared first on TheGrio.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Trending