American pitcher tackles racism with T-shirt in Korea

August 14, 2014
youman

Shane Youman had this T-shirt made to raise awareness about the widespread, daily racism non-Korean players in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) experience.

 

Shane Youman, an African American baseball pitcher who has been playing in South Korea for the Lotte Giants since 2012, used a simple white T-shirt to make a powerful statement against racism in Korea’s professional baseball league.

The sentence on the front of the shirt says “Be careful what you say,” which goes with the message on the back that read “Someone is listening.”

Youman, 34, said he had the T-shirt made to raise awareness about the widespread, daily racism non-Korean players in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) experience.

Lee Soon-chul, former Kia Tigers outfielder and ex-LG Twins manager, left viewers cringing after he commented on the skin color of foreign players while calling a game on television last month.

“Have you been to the Dominican Republic? There are no streetlights outside Santo Domingo. You can’t even see the people at night because their skin is so dark,” Lee told the play-by-play man.

Youman also found himself on the receiving end of racial stupidity last year when Hanwha Eagles slugger Kim Tae-kyun told radio commentators that the pitcher was difficult to hit because of his skin color.

In an interview with The Korea Times after Kim’s comments were published, Youman expressed disappointment that the Giants and KBO failed to address the issue in public, missing opportunity to make a statement about racial sensitivity.

“Just to make things clear … I made these shirts in light of the bold, racial comments that were made public about some of the KBO foreign players over the past year including this season,” Youman wrote on the Facebook page of MyKBO, a website operated by KBO super-fan Dan Kurtz.

“The most recent comment that was made on TV prompted me to do something for me, and all the other foreign players to voice our dislike about those comments.

“I’m sure this goes on everywhere, but for people to express themselves in such a way to where the public can hear, or see is just unacceptable. Nothing has been done about these incidents. Hopefully this shirt catches the attention of many, and raises awareness of the race issue in both the KBO and South Korea.”

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