MANCHESTER, England (AP)Former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung appealed to the club’s fans on Monday to stop singing a song that contains a racial stereotype about his native South Korea.
United fans chanted a song about Park during his time at the club, from 2005-12, which included a disparaging line about Koreans eating dog meat.
The song is still heard at Old Trafford and the now-retired Park said he wants to educate supporters about why the words are hurtful to him and people from South Korea.
The 40-year-old Park said he was prompted to speak out after hearing United fans singing the song last month in an away match against Wolverhampton, which presented South Korea striker Hwang Hee-chan that day.
”I know that United fans don’t mean any offense to him for that song,” Park told the UTD podcast, ”but still I have to educate the fans to stop that word (dog meat), which is usually these days a racial insult to the Korean people.”
Park, who won the Premier League four times with United as well as the Champions League in 2008, also played 100 games for South Korea and at three World Cups – in 2002, `06 and ’10.
”That particular word is very discomforting for Korean people, and I really feel very sorry for the younger players who heard that kind of song,” Park said. ”In Korea, things have changed a lot. It is true that historically we have eaten dog meat but these days, particularly the younger generation, they really hate it. The culture has changed.
”I really request the fans to stop singing that word. It causes discomfort to Korean people when they hear that song. It’s time to stop.”
United said it ”fully supports Ji-sung’s comments and urges fans to respect his wishes.”
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