Former Manchester United fan-favourite player Park Ji-sung on Sunday asked soccer club fans to stop singing a song in his honor over the racist stereotype that Koreans eat dog meat.
As A decorated midfielder for the team From 2005 to 2012, Park earned the praise of fans of the team, who gave him a common respect in the football world: a song or chant, often sung in the stadium, with lyrics to praise him.
But the reference to dog meat was “very uncomfortable for me”, although he was proud that fans composed a song for him and understood that they did not intend to offend or hurt him, he said. an official team podcast Released on Sunday.
He thought he had to accept it, he said, having come to Britain from South Korea as a young player who was unfamiliar with the culture. But he heard fans sing the song again in August, when South Korean Hwang Hee-chan made his debut for Wolverhampton Wanderers in a game against Manchester United.
“I should probably speak louder this time,” Park said on the podcast. Even if the fans had no offense, he said, “I have to educate the fans to stop using that word, which is a racial slur to Koreans in general these days.”
Manchester United said in a statement that it “fully supports Ji-sung’s comments and urges 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 fight over the ongoing but dwindling practice of raising dogs for human consumption. Most Koreans no longer eat dog meat; Survey of 1st September 2020 Nielsen found that 84 percent of Koreans have either never eaten it or do not intend to do so in the future.
Lola Weber, director of the campaign to end the consumption of dog meat for the Humane Society International, said the culture has “changed significantly” in recent years and even more rapidly in recent years. Most young Koreans are baffled by the idea, she said, although some older Koreans still seek out meat in specialty restaurants.
“It is in no way part of mainstream culture in South Korea,” she said. “It hasn’t been very long, but there has been a lot of vocal protest, especially in the last few years.”
Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested a ban on dog meat consumption, recognizing it an international embarrassment.
The world’s top football clubs continue to grapple 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, after the song with a new: “We’re Man United, we’ll sing whatever we want.”