m a r k a n d e y a

Open the flood gates…

Posted by Brian on February 6, 2006

From the Korea Times:

Just playing in the Super Bowl was not enough for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward.

The Korean-born Ward received the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in the team’s 21-10 victory against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday.

Ward, who was born in Seoul to a Korean woman and an African-American GI 29 years ago, is now recorded as the first person of Korean heritage to take the highest honor in America’s greatest sports gala.

From the Chosun:

The U.S. National Football League has named the half-Korean wide-receiver Hines Ward Super Bowl XL MVP.

In the 40th year of the U.S. most-loved sporting event, Ward was good for five catches and 123 yards including the final TD leading his team to a 21-10 victory — a feat that made him well deserving of the MVP designation. Ward put on a strong rushing performance too, pushing back the Seahawks by 18 yards in his sole attempt. Riding the athlete’s wave of activity on the field, the Steelers were able to muster enough hustle to once again rise to the zenith of the sport, after 26 years of naught. This Super Bowl win puts the Steelers in a class of titans as their name is added to the sparse list of five-ring teams like the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.

The Chosun article goes on to inform the reader that Ward also passed the ball to himself, called the plays from the sidelines, worked the register at the hot dog stand in Section 14, and sold popcorn in the upper deck behind the Steeler’s end zone. Simultaneously. Truely, an MVP-winning performance if there ever was one.

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6 Responses to “Open the flood gates…”

  1. slim said

    I wonder once Ward visits Korea, how serious the media will look into the discrimination people of mixed race face in the ROK, especially Afro-Koreans? I’m not hopeful, but this could be a helpful development.

  2. jimmy the greek said

    Slim, I’m sure the media will look into that discrimination with the same vigor that they looked into discrimination against homosexuals and trannies after Ha Ri Su hit it big.

    In other words, they’ll have a laugh at the freaks.

  3. GI Korea said

    I hope Ward when he comes to Korea visits some of the orphanages with mixed race children. This would be a great opportunity for him to draw attention to the plight of these children. Many of these children end up working in the same ville they were raised in because they cannot attend college or get jobs anywhere else due to the discrimination against them.

  4. […] As you might imagine, Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward has become the object of the Korean media’s affection and a source of national pride–his name managed to become the No. 1 search word on at least one Korean Internet portal site. I don’t find this particularly odd, and at any rate, Ward’s story is truly inspirational. I know the Nomad and Cathartidae have commented on the media’s coverage of Mr. Ward. Yes, there’s a lot of nationalist chest-thumping, but that doesn’t mean the media is totally oblivious to certain social realities. Point in case would be today’s edition of the JoongAng Ilbo (Korean), which ran a front page story this morning that analyzed the “Hines Ward Craze” and engaged in some rather sincere self-reflection over the hardships faced by mixed-race individuals in Korean society. It said: There are also voices of reflection using the opportunity to call for the correction of mistaken perceptions of mixed-race individuals. It’s said that Ward experienced the hardship of ostracism from even Korean-American society because he was mixed-race. One netizen pointed out, “If Ward had continued to live in Korea, he would have been teased as a twigi (a Korean term of derision for mixed-race people) and would have been unable to properly attend school… We must end our society’s exclusionary ethnic nationalism that views mixed-race people through colored glasses.” There are even calls for us to learn the cultural inclusiveness of American society that made Ward’s success possible. […]

  5. […] Other blogs have covered this already… Lost Nomad gave some background here and here. Here is another good post from Cathartidae. The Marmot’s Hole gave some more info here, here, and a more in-depth post here that has gotten many replies and is worth a read. That post addresses the issue of mixed-race Koreans and the hardships they have. I think that this current obssesion about Hines Ward is a bit silly. Nobody had ever heard of him, let alone cared about him, before this. A friend of mine was teaching a high-level class of university students while the Superbowl was on. He turned on the TV during a break and explained that one of the star players has a Korean mother. None of the students cared (it’s just stupid American football) and they asked for the channel to be changed. The next day, after Hines Ward was all over the news, the students came to class praising Hines Ward. They asked my friend, “Did you know about Hines Ward?” My friend pointed out that he was the same person he’d tried to tell them about the day before and rolled his eyes. […]

  6. Mark said

    I talked to my Korean teacher and my mother about this yesterday. Apparently, this is a hot topic. I am very fired up about it too, at first very upset, and now I’m more optimistic.

    Before, I never heard of Ward in the press in Korea, except the time he was drafted.

    Now, I had a feeling that since he was in the Superbowl and now MVP, there’ll be more light shed on his unique background.

    I am half-Korean like Ward, but half-Indian. Recently I used to question my own identity because I’m not the pure kind of Korean. However, I have been blessed by God to live in America, a society that is more tolerant than Korea, so sometimes people saw my mix as beautiful. I am proud of my mix.

    However, what I’m afraid is that the whole Korean media is just using this as a national stunt to act like, “they exported Ward.” Before, many Koreans shunned on halfs like us, especially mixed with blacks. I had a friend who is half-Korean/black, and when she went to Korea while younger, she had a rough time with her relatives. As for me, I was self-conscience about this issue when I first saw my relatives, but they assured they love me very much and I was “Korean as much as them.”

    At the same time, I see this as the best opportunity so far for Korea to start cleaning up their act. My mom (Korean) and I found it hypocritical that after all these years of hardship for mixed-races in South Korea, the country goes crazy for Ward, who has not even been to Korea since he was born.

    I can’t imagine living in a society that has had these racial issues. When I went to Korea, I sometimes felt kinda odd in public places because of my darker skin. It must be tough.

    Overall, I hope that our boy Hines will not just have a good time discovering his roots and culture, but he will be a public ambassador and inspiration to the many mixed-beautiful Koreans who want to move on up. You know, he has been an inspiration to me. Time for a change!

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