Saturday, February 27, 2010

Australian referee Hewish needs police protection in Vancouver after Korean threats.

The Australian referee who disqualified the Korean women's short-track team in the 3,000-meter relay now requires police protection. The looks at the threats made by angry Korean fans against Jim Hewish:
AUSTRALIAN short track referee Jim Hewish is under police protection in Vancouver.
Hewishr raised the ire of the Korean speedskating team and its fans by disqualifying its women's 3000m relay on Thursday.

A bomb threat was made by a disgruntled fan against the Australian embassy in Seoul the next day but was later described as a hoax. However it is understood that threats have also been made against Hewish personally and his house in Sydney has been placed under guard.
Yes, there was a bomb threat made to the Australian embassy in Seoul:
Major Korean internet news website reported the embassy was searched for 40 minutes and five staff were evacuated.

Officials at the embassy confirmed the incident with AAP, a staff member saying it turned out to be a hoax but "Korean authorities responded very quickly and it was resolved". reported Kim was angry that Australian short track speed-skating judge Jim Hewish had disqualified the Korean team from the women's 3000m relay final after their last skater crossed the line first on Wednesday (Vancouver time).

Hewish was the referee who disqualified Kim Dong-sung in 2002, a decision that gave Ohno the gold, and the Korean coach was prepared for that:
"Before the race, I told the players to be careful because the chief referee was the same one who disqualified Kim Dong-sung (at the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002). But it happened again,'' Choi said.

Some Korean netizens called for a boycott of Australian products and put up contact information to the Australian Amateur Ice Racing Council, believing, like they did in the aftermath of their 2006 World Cup loss, that a large number of protest letters would force a rematch. Others posted Hewish's address, including a map to his house

This latest news come via commenter ElCanguro on a Marmot's Hole on The Marmot's Hole, and a follow-up Marmot's Hole post, and he wrote on my site:
I wonder if the netizens realise that they've blown any chances of Pyeongchang getting the winter Olympics anytime soon or Korea getting the 2022 World Cup with their childish, passive-aggressive displays behind the computer.

Indeed, there is a disturbing trend of Korean threats and overreaction to perceived slights in international competition. A Korean commenter on my post yesterday wrote:
There is always e-mail threatening after any events (sports, business closing tables, and etc). But many times, I see some of those threatening pictures as the expression and voice of anger, requesting, and asking for the justice. I see this kinds of threatening everywhere; some are small and some are big. With these kinds of expression of media or posts should be viewed as voices instead of annoying things.

Rather than appreciating "asking for the justice," I suspect event organizers will be alarmed that their officials are subject to threats and violence should a decision go against Korea. I've had to write countless times that no, the actions of these enthusiastic netizens are not representative of all Koreans, but it should be the responsibility of Koreans as a whole to preach against these outbursts and go through the proper channels to find "justice," if they continue to feel listening to a referee's decision is unjust or an improper channel. Then again, when we see how Korean lawmakers express themselves in the National Assembly when they feel slighted, there might be issues larger than simply sports.

A small collection of netizen artwork found on blogs and messageboards.


Flint said...

I was thinking of writing something similar but don't have to. Well said.

yhap poetaster said...

i feel sorry for him. he will remain the national enemy of korea until he die or give the disqualification to OHNO. oh no...

Chris said...

Wow, that's sad. I hope the coppers come down hard on any offenders the catch.

I don't care who you are or where you come from, you have no right to threaten someone's life unless they're threatening yours or your family's.

Puffin Watch said...

Man, using that photo of Kim Yu Na to imply she's executing another human being. Really, that's sick.

I wonder if this kind of idiocy might bite Korea for their 2018 bid? I mean if non-Korean athletes have to be assigned police protection because they dare to win a gold and officials have to have 24 hour police protection because they rule against a Korean that would seem a negative to holding the games.

This Is Me Posting said...

"Please understand Korean culture! We just expressing our injustice!"

If I could roll my eyes anymore, I'd give myself fucking vertigo.

3/Diddy said...

From a Gyopo in Germany (and I'll probably bashed for this): Koreans should stop acting *so* emotional which leads to this craziness and they should stop play this victim card. (@TIMP: second that)
I also didn't really saw the impediment and was disappointed but come on: Bomb threats? Sick Pics (including both the house thingy and Yu-Na shooting at Hewish, a pic which totally dishonors her)
Brian: Well Said.
Puffin Watch: Second that

Kinda embarassing that whole Hewish threat thing …

Korean Rum Diary said...

Poor bastard... Isn't it enough that Koreans are doing awesome at these winter Olympics? Do they really need to focus on threats and childishness?

Chris said...

Even if it is just a few doing this, they've had an extensive history of it and are making Korea look bad and that's a shame.

It's very similiar to a few English teachers in Korea making the rest look bad isn't it?

Roboseyo said...

I think that's a really good point that the IOC is absolutely looking at the behavior of Korean netizens, and thinking "Do we really want to hold an Olympics in a place where 60 000, or even just 200 of THESE people might end up waiting outside the venue, or the Olympic village, if a call goes against Korea during the games?"

But if the IOC chooses Munich instead of Pyoungchang, they'll get together again and tell each other that the IOC will reconsider if they receive 3 million protest e-mails.


Darth Babaganoosh said...

It's not 3 million protest emails. It's 10 million. If you're going to give them hope, at least give them the correct info.

Peter said...

I agree that stuff like this really hinders any efforts Korea might make to host the winter Olympics. The Olympics are big, big business, and the IOC has shown itself to be very conservative about controlling the image of the games (just look at that nonsense where they told the Australian team to take down the boxing kangaroo flag they'd hung outside the athletes' residence in Vancouver). If the Olympics were hosted in Pyeongchang, and a local protest was organized when a Korean athlete was "robbed" of a medal, that would be something straight out of an IOC official's nightmare. As long as that's a possibility, I think the IOC will take their games elsewhere.

And I, too, find that image of Kim Yuna pretty disturbing. Talk about missing the point.

Chris said...

I'm sure Yuna wouldn't be impressed with that photo altercation.

I hope she wouldn't be anyway.

The IOC only cares about money in my opinion.

a_mere_wanderer said...

That Korean who made a bomb threat to the Australian embassy in Seoul, let's not be so hasty to say "Koreans are EVIL!!!!!"

It's like non-Americans saying "My goodness, Jeffrey Dahmer was an American. And all Americans are [insert disturbingly evil things]!!!!"

Let's stop the blame game once and for all.

Chris said... "The IOC only cares about money in my opinion."

It has been like that for few decades.

El Tiburon said...

You can't just ask Koreans to stop acting emotionally and childishly. It's not within their conscious control. Immature people can't take responsibility for their actions. They believe they are adults, they were done injustice and their responses are justified. No one can talk them out of this. Immature people give more weight to a partial and immediate perspective and intellectual explanations won't be relevant.
Sick individuals can be helped, but what about sick nations? Mandatory TV therapies for school children and workers during lunch breaks?

joji1909 said...

@Roboseyo: Well said. Should the games go to Munich this also gives these Koreans an excuse to trot out the world is against us" conspiracy.

I'm Australian and I assure you 95% of people simply don't care about this non-issue. Even when I goad them by saying stuff hewish is an Aussie and so am I.

FYI his address is pretty easy to find on naver.

joji1909 said...

*stuff like "Hewish is an Aussie and so am I"

arilevi said...

Dude we just had a guy in Texas fly a plane into an IRS building.

INAPPROPRIATE. In the words of the sage Brian in Jeollanm-do I have taken the following to heart.

it should be the responsibility of AMERICANS as a whole to preach against these outbursts and go through the proper channels to find "justice," if they continue to feel listening to a referee's decision is unjust or an improper channel.

In that spirit I'm turning in my neighbor... he's up to something I know it.

Brian said...

I love when people find my blog and decide to comment on every single post. Even better when they miss the point. Jackass.

arilevi said...

El Tiburon I agree completely.

Here in the US it's a sign of a healthy mind to make wild accusations against entire nations of people. We've found that the best way to compose our moral outlook on the world is to identify "sick groups" approximately 45 million people and paint then with a brush.

This does not make us racist or ignorant, but morally superior.

I also hate Jews because they're greedy and cause all the ills in the world. Blacks because they're lazy and want to take our women. And I hate the gays... because they are gay.


NOT a racist moron.

arilevi said...


do I displease you? please comport yourself with some dignity.

if I offend how can I improve myself if you dont enlighten me with the terms of your displeasure?

I'm merely going through the article and participating in the discussion...