Former Manchester United player, Park Ji-sung has requested fans to refrain from repeating a slogan in his home South Korea that refers to terrible racial stereotypes about people eating dogs. While Park insists that the inflammatory songs were not written with malice in mind, he believes they should be stopped because they can make Korean players uncomfortable, referring to Wolves striker Hwang Hee-chan following United’s match at Molineux earlier this season.
Park reveals that he was “happy” to have his own fan chant because it indicated he was having a positive impact when he initially arrived at Manchester United more than 15 years ago. However, he has stated that the portion about eating dog meat has always made him “extremely uncomfortable,” and that he simply accepted it because he was young at the time and did not understand British society.
“15 years ago, everything changed from Holland to England, I had to adapt and start from zero. So when I heard that song at that time, I felt very proud first because they created a song for me, which is good for a player,” Park told the club’s official UTD Podcast. “But when I heard about the lyric – about eating dog meat – it was very uncomfortable for me.
“I was young, I didn’t know the culture here, so it was probably one of the things I had to accept. I never thought the fans created the songs with bad meanings. They always make a song to give some energy to the players. That’s my thought. That’s why I accepted it. But time has changed, and it is 15 years later. Probably, last summer, listening to one of the Korean players who joined Wolves, and that time the United fans sang my song, I felt I needed to do something,” the four-time Premier League champion continued.
“Even in Korea it changed a lot. It is true that, historically, people have been eating dog meat. But these days, particularly the young generation, they hate it. It was there before but these days you really can’t find it. So the culture is changing. So I’m really sorry for [Hwang] to hear that. I know the United fans didn’t mean any offence to him, but I have to educate the fans to stop that word, which these days is a racial insult to the Korean people. I have to ask the fans to stop singing that word because it’s not cheering up someone anymore, it’s going to be more discomfort when they hear that song.”
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