Park Ji-sung, a former Manchester United fan favorite, asked football club fans on Sunday to stop singing songs that include the racist stereotype of Koreans eating dog meat. is.
As a team-decorated midfielder from 2005 to 2012, Park won the praise of the team’s fans. Fans have been awarded a common honor in the football world. Lyrics to praise him, songs and chants often played in the stadium. ..
But the reference to dog meat, despite the fact that the fans were proud to write a song for him and understood that they weren’t going to offend or hurt him. “It was very unpleasant to me,” he said in an official team podcast released on Sunday.
He said he came to England from South Korea as a young player unfamiliar with culture and thought he had to accept it. However, when South Korea’s Hwang Hee-chan made his debut at Wolverhampton Wanderers in a match against Manchester United in August, he heard fans sing again.
“We should speak louder this time,” Park said in a podcast. Even if it didn’t mean that the fans were offensive, he said, “We have to educate the fans to stop the word. It’s a racial insult to Koreans these days.”
“We fully support Ji Sung’s comments and urge fans to respect his wishes,” Manchester United said in a statement.
References to dog meat have long been used as an attack on Koreans abroad. This is a stereotype rooted in the country’s long-standing battle for ongoing but diminishing practices of raising dogs for human consumption. Currently, most Koreans do not eat dog meat. A September 2020 survey by Nielsen found that 84% of South Koreans have never eaten or will not eat it in the future.
Laura Webber, director of the Humane Society International campaign to end dog meat consumption, said that culture has “changed significantly” over decades and has changed even more rapidly in recent years. She said that while some older Koreans are still looking for meat in specialized restaurants, most young Koreans are appalled by the idea.
“It’s by no means part of the mainstream culture in South Korea,” she said. “It hasn’t been that long, but there has been very loud opposition, especially in the last few years.”
Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed banning the consumption of dog meat, recognizing it as an international embarrassment.
The world’s top football clubs have consistently addressed racist behavior by some of their fans. In 2017, black Romelu Lukaku asked Manchester United fans to stop singing songs for him, including racial stereotypes. Some fans rejected the new song, “We are Manchester United. We sing what we want.”