South Korea World Cup Coach Quits Over CyberBullying

(Reposting from 8asians…because I’m a lazy blogger these days)

I’ll be one of the first to generalize about my people: Koreans love drama whether it’s on tv or in real life. Of course, the drama of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was compelling: all the Asian countries made a great start especially South Korea coming out strong in the first round against Greece, and then the agony of their subsequent losses to Argentina (oh, it was brutal) and Uruguay, though they did tie Nigeria. After the loss to Uruguay, I immediately thought “What’s going to happen to the coach?”, while only being able to imagine the immense expectation he carried on his shoulders and the difficulty of returning home with the team as losers.

I guess it’s not surprising, and definitely almost a relief, then to hear that the South Korea coach, Huh Jung-Moo is calling it quits or, “letting his contract expire so he can spend more time with the family.” AFP reports:

In the group stages South Korea beat Greece 2-0 but suffered a crushing 4-1 defeat to Argentina, which sparked a barrage of cyber attacks on the coach notably over his decision to shuffle his defenders by bringing on Oh Beom-Seok for Cha Du-Ri. Huh’s wife, Choi Mi-Na, told the Chosun Daily that she and their children had been deeply wounded by hurtful Internet postings. ”I told him he should quit … The coach and all my family members have been hurt enough,” she said.

It makes sense for him to take a step back and take care of himself and his family. The pressure and weight are enough to crush someone, and sometimes to death. Whoever says that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is delusional. Words matter and can have a terrible impact. Cyberbullying is a phenomenon that occurs everywhere and tragic when it results in an innocent, young person taking her life. And of course, since cyberbullying has become rampant, it is all the more reason to focus on one’s health, or it may result in something like the suicide of Choi Jin-Sil, a South Korean actress a couple of years ago. If I were Huh’s wife, I’d be concerned for him. Certainly, preserving one’s life and well-being, even if it means quitting, is way more important than dealing with the daily drama of being the coach of a football team. Besides, there’s always 2014.

ROK Fighting!