Korean baseball All-Star Kim Tae-kyun has apologized for insensitive remarks on an African-American pitcher delivered on a baseball radio show.
In the radio program that aired online on Monday, Kim, the slugging first baseman for the Hanwha Eagles in the Korea Baseball Organization, was quoted by one of the show’s two hosts as mocking the skin color of Shane Youman, a starting pitcher for the Lotte Giants.
Youman, 33, is a native of New Iberia, Louisiana, and is pitching in his second KBO season.
The host, a baseball reporter for a local sports newspaper, said he’d asked cleanup hitters of KBO teams which pitcher they found the toughest.
According to the host, Kim told him, “Youman’s face is so black and that makes his teeth seem whiter. When he smiles on the mound as he throws, I tend to lose the ball in his teeth. That has fooled me often.”
Though Kim didn’t come on the air and make these comments, the words still sparked debate online. The radio program’s message board was inundated with demands for Kim’s apology. There were a few others who defended Kim, saying the player didn’t say anything insensitive and was only trying to be funny.Nexen’s Kim Min-woo receives three-month ban
Kim Min-woo, an infielder for the Nexen Heroes, on Tuesday received a three-month ban from the sport, after being charged last weekend with driving under the influence of alcohol with a suspended license, the league office said.
The KBO said Kim will be prohibited from engaging in all baseball-related activities, including team practices, official or unofficial games and the playoffs. Kim will also be required to spend 240 community service hours in youth baseball-related activities.
Kim, 34, was charged with the DUI on Sunday after he hit a parked taxi in front of a Seoul hotel. Police said his blood-alcohol content level was over 0.1 percent.