Former Manchester United player Park Ji-Sung condemns racist fan song

Park Ji-Sung, a former fan favorite of Manchester United, on Sunday asked football club fans to stop singing a song in his honor that in...


Park Ji-Sung, a former fan favorite of Manchester United, on Sunday asked football club fans to stop singing a song in his honor that includes the racist stereotype that Koreans eat dog meat.

As a decorated midfielder for the team from 2005 to 2012, Park won the adoration of the team’s fans, who bestowed upon him a common honor in the football world: a song or chant, often performed in the stadium, with lyrics meant to praise him. .

But the reference to dog meat was “very uncomfortable for me”, although he was proud that the fans had made a song for him and he understood that they had no intention of offending or offending him. hurt him, he said on an official team podcast released on Sunday.

He thought he had to accept it, he said, having come from South Korea to Britain as a young player who was not familiar with the culture. But he heard fans sing the song again in August when Hwang Hee-chan, a South Korean, made his Wolverhampton Wanderers debut in a game against Manchester United.

“I should probably speak louder this time,” Park said on the podcast. Even though the fans had no intention of offending, he said, “I have to educate the fans to stop this word, which these days is generally a racial insult to the Korean people.”

Manchester United said in a statement that they “fully support Ji-sung’s comments and urge fans to respect his wishes.”

References to dog meat have long been used as an attack on Koreans abroad, a stereotype rooted in the country’s long-standing battle against the current, but declining practice of raising dogs for consumption. human. Most Koreans don’t eat dog meat now; a September 2020 survey by Nielsen found that 84 percent of Koreans have never eaten it or have no plans to do so in the future.

The culture has “changed dramatically” over the decades and even more rapidly in recent years, said Lola Webber, director of campaigns to end the consumption of dog meat for Humane Society International. Most young Koreans are appalled by the idea, she said, although some older Koreans still seek out meat in specialty restaurants.

“It is by no means part of the mainstream culture in South Korea,” she said. “It hasn’t been very long, but especially in recent years there has been very strong opposition.”

Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested banning the consumption of dog meat, acknowledging it as an international embarrassment.

The best football clubs in the world have constantly struggled with the racist behavior of some of their fans. In 2017, Romelu Lukaku, who is black, asked Manchester United fans to stop singing a song for him that contained a racial stereotype. Some fans refused, follow the song with a new one: “We are Man United, we will sing what we want.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Former Manchester United player Park Ji-Sung condemns racist fan song
Former Manchester United player Park Ji-Sung condemns racist fan song
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