When North Korea bowed out of the World Cup after losing every match, everyone wondered what would happen to them: Would they be sent to the coal mines? Executed? Fed to Kim Jong-Il's half-man/half-tiger monsters? They were publicly shamed.
According to the Toronto Star, the shaming occurred July 2, shortly after the team returned from South Africa:
"The 23-man roster – minus its two Japanese-based ringers, Jong "Weepy" Tae-se and An Yong-hak – was hauled up on stage in front of 400 attendees at the inaptly named People's Palace of Culture.
"The audience included a large number of university students and athletes, as well as high party officials.
"For the next six hours, players were reprimanded for failures in their play."
They were accused of "betraying the young General Kim Jong-un" (Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent), and failing in the "great ideological struggle" during their mostly disastrous World Cup appearance. (They lost to Portugal 7-0.) And, most cruelly, they were made to publicly criticize their coach, Kim Jong Hun. Hun has been rumored to have been expelled from Kim Jong-Il's Workers' Party and "has been sent to perform forced labor at a residential building construction site in Pyongyang," according to Radio Free Asia.
Of course, there were rumors that the entire 1966 North Korean team had been sent to the coal mines, but a BBC documentary crew found them alive and happy years later.
And that's the difference between sports in North Korea and America: In North Korea, they shame their professional athletes. In America, our athletes publicly shame themselves.
Friday, July 30, 2010
North Korean soccer team publicly shamed.
From Gawker, thanks to reader Jen: