SOCCER

Japanese soccer players need thick skin to deal with racism abroad: Kawashima

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  • -6

    telecasterplayer

    Bring back Communism! Those people were better off with strong leaders who kept them from exercising their worst instincts.

  • 5

    papigiulio

    On one hand I feel sorry for Nakamura, but i also agree with Kawashima, theres not only racism in Slovakia. You should see the Italian, Futch or English league.

    Just gotta ignore it and be above all of those that chant racist slurs

  • -2

    Novenachama

    It's unfortunate but when the going gets tough the tough get going. The tough part is the determination. This soccer player should have learned to deal with it properly without resentment to pressures of any kind and in this case the tauntings were about Fukushima. He should not have taken it personally. Winners never quit and quitters never win. In reality racists are usually bigots that live in a world of hatred, failure and low self-esteem, combined with a powerful need to feel good at another's expense.

  • 4

    GMO_Nation

    It's unfortunate but players all over the world have to deal with this. Not just in soccer. Soccer is crazy and fans are brutal over there. But I agree with Kawashima, you have to be prepared for situations like that. It doesn't make them any easier but you've gotta ingore it and go out there and let your game do the talking for you.

  • 0

    nihonjinsurfer

    Japan is a little behind (or forward, depending on how you look at it) with racism in sports. I remember reading an article back in the 90's about how Rod Woodson got pestered with racism jokes by opposing receivers.

    I'm sure the European soccer culture in general can be a shock to Japanese players.

  • 1

    ebisen

    telecastplayer (you need a strat anyway)

    Bring back Communism!

    Nakamura has been to Romania as well, but suffered no racism (from his own interview). His problems started as soon as he moved to the higher ranked team in Slovakia. Nothing to to with communist, as players suffered from racism in the most "civilised" LOL countries in Western Europe...

  • 0

    Eduardo Gonzalez

    >

    telecasterplayer at Feb. 08, 2013 - 07:52AM JST Bring back Communism! Those people were better off with strong leaders who kept them from exercising their worst instincts.

    Then guess what?, forget the liberties you enjoyed overtime!

  • 5

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    In as much as I feel sorry for Kawashima, let me just add that racism happens everywhere you go.i for one am a target to that even amongst mothers and seniors..in my workplace were I volunteer, or even in the gym...on the streets when I walk my dog, just about everywhere. But I happened to get used to it and try to understand what makes them like this. And I focus on the good things, there are some good bunch of people out there as well. Though they will not give you the full support you want, but who knows...maybe to them they have given their best. You only will get full support from your immediate loved ones. Make your home comfy to come how with, make it your sanctuary to face the hurdle the following day and yes we have to be strong and sometimes thick face as well!

  • 2

    Jimizo

    @papagulio Slovakian football is notorious for racism but don't tar all leagues with the same brush. If you think English football is as racist as Slovakian football, you are way off. Nowadays racist chants or racist comments on the field in English leagues are punished severely. I recommend some reading on the Terry/Ferdinand, Suarez/Evra incidents along with the reaction of West Ham United FC to reports of racist chanting from their own fans. I've lost count of how many ill-informed generalizations about professional football in Europe I've read recently. The solution is simple. Players guilty of racist abuse are fined and banned. Fans guilty of racist abuse ( CCTV can often identify them ) are banned from the stadium. Clubs which fail to reign in racism should be forced to play games behind closed doors ( a huge financial penalty ) or be deducted points or even relegated.

  • 2

    Wakarimasen

    Sad that the perceivecd solution to this issue is essentially "Japanese players, get over it". Seems that we will never eradicate racism from our society.

  • -4

    bass4funk

    It's unfortunate but players all over the world have to deal with this. Not just in soccer. Soccer is crazy and fans are brutal over there. But I agree with Kawashima, you have to be prepared for situations like that. It doesn't make them any easier but you've gotta ingore it and go out there and let your game do the talking for you.

    Well, in sports, Soccer is infamous for lashing out and attacking foreigners and people of color, ignorant and intolerant. I have spent time in Europecand I have seen in the Netherlands and Germany people being jumped by hooligans and skinheads, it's so bad, many foreigners are afraid to visit soccer matches in many European countries and I don't blame them. Yes, you should ignore them, but personally, I would never take a chance with the reputation that soccer has, it's not worth it to go having to worry about my safety, something you don't see in the US. Racism is a serious desease and unless the sport in general and FIFA don't get to the nitty gritty root of the problem of this, it will never get better. There is too much of a Nationallistic attitude that permeates throughout the clubs.

  • -1

    ribstick

    I don't know why anyone would want to play in Slovakia, or any other racist place. Taunting from fans is a given, and these European states take it to whole new level of ignorance. While the United States has its fair share of racists, one thing sports, especially American football, has done is bridge the racial barrier, with white fans cheering for black players. Jeremy Lin...the verdict is still out on that one.

  • 6

    cierzo98

    There is no doubt that these Japanese players have been subjected to racism. But what they probably don't realise is that the reason is not because they are Japanese or "Asian" it's because they are not Slovakian or not Belgian. Many of the so-called fans in these cities have a 'culture' where any outsider is abused and even attacked. It's a sad and primitive mentality but, a Norwegian, Irishman or Brazilian is just as likely to be a victim as Japanese if their background is known. It's just easier to pick on a Japanese because they are instantly recognizable as foreign - not because they are hated any more than other foreigners. You have to realize the almost sub-human mindset of these people. It's not as sophisticated as hating Asians. They just hate everyone else.

  • 0

    Saulo Akazawa

    Sure it's not normal and racism should NOT be tolerated BUT in a soccer game the opposing crowd will always try to get under your skin. Who's gonna tell them what is out of bounds. Good luck. How about the tittle said to be competitive player you have to be thick skinned. I have been called a whale killer. My reaction used some expletive back and we shared a beer...

  • 0

    wtfjapan

    yep totally agree racism will never be totally erased, like he said best way is to grow a thicker skin use it as more motivation to play harder. winning against them is the quickest way to shut them up!

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    He's right, and it's unfortunate that he's right, but it's not just Japanese people that need thick skins to handle racism, even domestically in some countries!, when it comes to soccer. The sport is rampant with verbal abuse, despite some measures taken to try and combat it. It's unlikely to change soon because many can't distinguish between supporting your favoured team and bashing the other (just look at Japan and Korea in particular during the WBC and you can easily see what I mean).

    Anyway, as I said, Kawashima is right -- grow a thick skin and take any racism in stride, as best as possible. Running back to the J-league or elsewhere because you can't hack it is a loss to the sport as a whole.

  • 3

    Bad2Dbone

    booo hooo , Its called life, everywhere you go, there is racism, EVERYWHERE! (Japan included)

  • 0

    rickyvee

    so most of the posters here are saying that these athletes should just "put up" with racism? and you would give foreginers living in japan the same advice? puh-leaze! what hypocrisy.

    nobody should "put up" with racism. period. end. of. sentence.

  • 0

    slumdog

    Suck it up.

    If you had taken time to notice, Kawashima agrees with you.

    Kawashima said he was sympathetic, but believed players had to face up to the challenge.

    "Maybe the situation for him was really tough and he was really alone. But we have got to be tough and if there is something wrong, you have to stand against it.”

  • 2

    zichi

    Racism isn't acceptable in any form and in those sports were there's racism, the sport authorities must take strong actions to stamp it out. Zero tolerance is the only acceptable level.

  • 1

    skroknog

    fans started taunting him with repeated chants of “Fukushima, Fukushima

    Wow. That is pathetic.

  • 1

    davestrousers

    OK, I had a quick look at Standard Liege's squad for this season. They have players from France, Ghana, Iran, Venezuela, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Turkey, Nigeria, Isreal, and even a few from Belgium. Now, is Kawashima implying that among all these players he has been individually targeted for racial abuse? I would say that's delusional. The fans that chanted that stuff are pathetic, and maybe these days fans like that will be chanting stuff about the nightclub fire to wind up players from Brazil. However disgraceful that is, its not racism, its just stupidity.

    Nakamura on the other hand was a genuine victim of racism, targeted by fans because he's a foreigner and for no other reason. Different story altogether.

  • 4

    Morry

    Some soccer fans are often just a bunch of stupid rednecks....

  • 1

    wipeout

    Who's gonna tell them what is out of bounds.

    Well often the teams do, the supporters' assocations do, the football authorities do, and the law does. It hasn't been stamped out everywhere by a long way, but there have definitely been attempts to do that, and a certain amount of success - though more in some countries than others.

    In Scotland, they even have a law against sectarianism in football, as it's an old problem for some teams.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13796044

  • 0

    NeoJamal

    booo hooo , Its called life, everywhere you go, there is racism, EVERYWHERE! (Japan included)

    But I don't see white Europeans complaining about racism by non-Europeans

  • -3

    LostinNagoya

    To deal with racism one needd to have a laid back nature: "yeah Fukushima?! But mine is bigger than yours!!" and see it as a bad joke, and move on. Something that Japanese people don't have at all is this laid back sense of humor.

  • 1

    peachy871

    It is a shame that there should be a need to have a thick skin against racism. I know at matches, fans will say anything to get to the opponents, but really? Why the need to regress to the 1700s?? While some criticize Nakamura for poorly representing by running away from it, how about some harsher criticism for the way the idiot fans are making the rest of us look? Joking with each other about our differences is one thing, making slurs or comments with the intent to hurt is completely another. No one should have to think about developing a thick skin to deal with that because it just shouldn't happen. Ever.

    Sadly, that is not how things are at the moment and that is not really who we are as a species.

  • 1

    B-man

    Reduced to tears?! Jackie Robinson he is not.

  • 0

    isoducky

    I'm total agreement with Kawashima. If you live in Japan you deal with racism as you are not Japanese, so Nakamura working abroad should just ignore it an focus on putting goals in the net. Then demand a premium to stay in a hostile area.

    Simple saying; The only ones who don't love winners are losers.

  • 1

    alimel1969

    Hmmmm.....I hear what everyone is saying and I agree with both sides. Racism should not exist but will never be eradicated. Racism is ignorance and ignorance breeds ignorance. I'm a "haffu" and experienced racism in both Japan and the US. It does not bother me in the least. They attack with words and as long as I don't give those words any power then it cannot hurt me. I was taught by my parents to laugh at it. If the worst thing someone can find wrong with you is your nationality, which was never in your control anyway, then I wish them all the luck in the world as it must be difficult to achieve much success in life being that ignorant and stupid.

  • 0

    msmahumane@gmail.com

    I was a student in Europe, Germany, in the early 60s. As a black person was a nightmare, people would line up in the streets, supermarkets, wherever I went, to closely see and touch me, and some would close their noses. Even my professors wouldn't believe in my ability to study. But I didn't quit, I graduated. It is deep ingrained in white person's gene that anybody who does not look like them is lesser of a person. They struggle to get rid of this feeling. In the US they made a big progress considering where they come from: they play together work together until it comes to worshiping. They worship the same God but segregated.

  • 0

    bass4funk

    @msmahumane

    You are 100% correct.

  • 0

    cl400

    Sometimes people are against us just because we are Asian.

    Living in Japan is really comfortable and really easy but you know when you go abroad, the situation isnt always the same.

    Guess what buddy... try being a gaijin in Japan. Every country has racism so don't exclude your own. I don't.

  • -1

    bass4funk

    There is no doubt that these Japanese players have been subjected to racism. But what they probably don't realise is that the reason is not because they are Japanese or "Asian" it's because they are not Slovakian or not Belgian. Many of the so-called fans in these cities have a 'culture' where any outsider is abused and even attacked. It's a sad and primitive mentality but, a Norwegian, Irishman or Brazilian is just as likely to be a victim as Japanese if their background is known. It's just easier to pick on a Japanese because they are instantly recognizable as foreign - not because they are hated any more than other foreigners. You have to realize the almost sub-human mindset of these people. It's not as sophisticated as hating Asians. They just hate everyone else.

    So when they throw banana peels on the field, making snide and condensing chants, grunts and monkey sounds, it has nothing to do with skin color or sophisticated as hating blacks???

  • -1

    cl400

    FIFA are taking steps towards eradicating racism in football but unfortunately, it will probably always exist, not only in sports. Japan is still only about 2-3% gaijin and in general Japanese people are quite liked by locals when they travel abroad. I've experience racism here (being spat at, etc). So have other friends of mine. When we first experience racism it is very uncomfortable and it is natural to want to complain. I think Japanese people should consider themselves very lucky though to not experience racism as much as some other races do. Especially because they are no angels themselves when it comes to dishing it out.

  • 2

    House Atreides

    "Unfortunately, I have come home because I was subjected to racism at the club I belonged to, Rimavska Sobota, and could not live there anymore," Nakamura wrote, adding he had received no backing from teammates.

    He should have switched to a different team. It's not as if Rimavska Sobota is the only European soccer team hiring Japanese players. It should also be noted that Slovaks aren't just racist against Asians. They're also racist against neighboring people such as Hungarians. Here's what a Slovak nationalist had to say about Hungarians:

    "I am proud of giving that Hungarian a black eye"

    and

    "The Hungarians are a cancer in the body of the Slovak nation."

    If the team doesn't work out for you, then move on. And now for something completely different... In some cases being reduced to tears isn't such a bad thing. Here's a video of Hajime Hosogai getting support from his German teammates. You can see him wiping away his tears after being overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAvDSNB6vCM

  • -2

    whiskeysour

    Racism is everywhere !!!!! Deal with it

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