Korean Baseball Star Catches Heat Following Racist Remarks Towards American Pitcher

Jeff Liebsch, HAPS, June 11, 2013

South Korea national baseball team member and Hanwha Eagles first baseman Kim Tae-kyun is facing criticism from fans for making what are being called racist remarks on a radio show Monday about Busan’s Lotte Giants‘ African-American ace, Shane Youman.

During an appearance on Radio Ball, a Naver Internet baseball radio broadcast, the 31-year-old slugger was asked about the difficulties in facing Youman, who is considered the toughest pitcher in the league.

“The Lotte Giants’ Youman is the most difficult player to play against,” Kim replied. “His face is too black, so it is hard to bat because his white teeth and the ball confuses me when he smiles on the mound. So, I suffered a lot.”

He then went on to say, “There’s no particularly difficult pitcher, but when I play against Youman, I screw up because of his white teeth.”

Both the Hanwha organization and Kim have separately offered apologies to Youman over the incident, and there’s been no word on whether Kim will face any repercussions from the team or the league over the comments.

Kim’s remarks have garnered heated debate on Korean baseball forums with many denouncing the star player.


“If these words truly came out of Kim’s mouth, it’s very sad to hear that in 2013,” said Dan Kurtz, founder of MyKBO.net, a website dedicated to introducing English-speaking fans to Korean baseball. “Foreigners in the KBO are still not given the same respect as their Korean counterparts.”


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  • It is easy to hit a home run off a fastball, so my pitchers always walked me to first, as I was a real monster of a “slugger”.

    I aimed straight at the pitcher’s face, and knocked several of them down.

  • Why did I not even have to read the article to know the pitcher was black? Even though Koreans men consider themselves superior to all other races. Korean women I have found to be generally congenial.

    • AutomaticSlim

      I have been to Korea several times.

      I have never had a problem. I was polite and courteous to them and received the same in return. Sometimes a middle age guy will stare at you with a bit of a scowl, but that is usually when they are drunk on Soju. Other than that, I found them quite non-confrontational. They leave you alone over there. I like that.

      • The Final Solution

        They leave you alone because they know you will never be part of their society. You will never be Korean. I’ve spent time over there – lived there for a while. They are racist to the core and don’t think for a second that they don’t hate you just because no one ‘confronted you’ in the street.

        • AutomaticSlim

          If you lived there then you are more experienced with them then I am. I was there a few times, for several weeks each time.

          “You will never be Korean”

          – That’s fine. It has never been my goal to be Korean. Even if I lived there I would not want or expect that.

          ” They are racist to the core and don’t think for a second that they
          don’t hate you just because no one ‘confronted you’ in the street.”
          – That’s fine too. I am mostly a “loner”, always have been and probably always will be. People are free to hate me for any reason they like, rational or not. As long as I am either left alone or treated politely, I am fine. I am not like a black, looking for perceived insults around every corner.

          • The Final Solution

            Yeah I agree but I object to the double standard – the idea that anyone can be American, even those not even born here. I don’t consider anyone American who wasn’t born on American soil. Koreans are in the habit of taking over nationalities however they please – there was a girl once who had a New Zealand driver’s license – I said aren’t you Korean, she said I’m from New Zealand, I said how long you lived there, she said 3 years, I said ‘you’re not a Kiwi.’ Imagine that – only 3 years and they already think they can hijack the New Zealand identity. Totally disgusting. Well I don’t think any Korean-Americans born here are Americans either. America does not include non-whites and was never intended to.

          • borogirl54

            The same is true in Japan. There are a number of bars and restaurants with signs that say “Japanese only”. I heard of a white guy who was a naturalized Japanese citizen who went to one of those bars and they still refused to let him in even after he showed them proof of his citizenship.

          • The Japanese were always very kind to me. Even John Engelman wouldn’t complain about them. I have seen the signs about no Gaijins, and they say I smell like burned metal.

          • Romulus

            I don’t include anyone as American unless they are of European stock, including the eastern Mediterranean white Arabs.

          • The Final Solution

            Agreed and there’s no such thing as a white Arab. Arabs are dark-skinned. Don’t know what a white arab is supposed to be. Like a white Hispanic?

          • Romulus

            Sure there is! You might be unfamiliar with their many incarnations. A white Arab, is a human Witham diacyphlic nasal bridge. Looks like an ahmadinejad only whiter. Think Anthony Weiner,chuck schumer,feinstein,Capone,Rahm Emanuel,Al franken,Steven spielberg,George soros,Michael milken, etc., etc.

          • I would exclude them.

          • Romulus

            I would too. In answer to “cape to Cairo” Because if they are cut from the same cloth, birds of a feather will flock together. They left handed ones have undermined America since they’ve been here and the right handed ones that run the banks have been getting Europeans to die for them for a really long time. (Rhino’s and zionists).

        • MrGJG

          “They are racist to the core and don’t think for a second that they
          don’t hate you just because no one ‘confronted you’ in the street.”

          Good for them, that just makes them normal. Also, unlike some of the more colorful races, at least despite hating you, they won’t try to kill you.

    • Nathanwartooth

      I knew it was because he “offended” Blacks before I even read it as well.

      If he had said something like “Those round eyed devils with their really White skin make it harder for me to see the ball” no one would have raised on eyebrow.

      They would have given him a pat on the back and probably a speaking tour.

  • MekongDelta69

    I love when guys like Kim Tae-kyun (who haven’t been to reeducation camp – yet) – inadvertently blurt out the truth.

    The ‘bug-eyed,’ ‘liver-lipped,’ ‘shiny teeth’ pictures from the days of yore, weren’t created from imagination or science fiction.

    They were created from real life facts.

    • Facial recognition technology generally doesn’t work on blacks, all it can see is eyes and teeth.

    • Morris LeChat

      yes, a caricature is an abstraction. If eyes are round and protrude, one draws circles, if the shape of the subject’s lips is round and large then one draws a circle. A good caricature does not need to be greatly exaggerated. When one abstracts the shapes into a simpler geometric shape, the exaggeration is automatic. Some of the worst caricature artists I have seen are the ones who exaggerate in ways that are not at relevant to the subject, such as the artists who always gives everyone a huge smile with huge teeth, or the one who always gives everyone a huge nose.

  • pcmustgo

    Hmmm, Blacks are apparently always taunting other white players with “white boy” remarks, and get away with it scott free.

  • When I was kid I did the bat boy thing for a local college. The visitor on this day was the only HBCU in the state, but they had a majority white baseball team. For one of their pitching changes, they put in a black. One of the players on the bench said “Look, he’s throwing the watermelon ball”. The coach did not like this at all ….. meanwhile I am snickering.

  • dave

    when the article said american, i thought he was talking about a white guy. then i read it and its a black. the article should have read asian makes racist remark about african-american. they dont like the word american,it has to be hyphenated. what was racist about what he said? he said what eveyone thinks.

  • Bergeron

    “If these words truly came out of Kim’s mouth, it’s very sad to hear that in 2013,” said Dan Kurtz”. The state-what-year-it-is habit that these people have is an indication that they have uncritically assimilated the Marxist/Hegelian theory of history. An entertaining response to this is to ask them what the current year has to do with anything. That brings their assumptions out into the light and allows a deeper mockery to ensue. Give it a try.

  • joemcgee

    When I entered the the Marine Corps, going back many years now, they made a couple of black guys stand at each end of the barracks at lights out and smile – they were night lights. I don’t think they do that anymore.

    • Why when I up-voted did it put a minus sign in front of the number?

  • APaige

    That is the reason most, if not all stadiums do not allow fans to sit behind the pitcher. They used to wear white shirts when the opposing team was at bat.

  • robert

    Reminds me of watching the NY Knicks Earl “the Pearl” Monroe on a black and white TV, back then, all you could see was his teeth too.

  • The__Bobster

    It could’ve been worse. Kim could have offered the Bantu fried chicken.


    • Or some watermelon soaked in Courvoisier.

    • AutomaticSlim

      They LOVE fried chicken over there. There is a fried chicken joint on every corner in big cities like Seoul and Busan. Mr “Youman” is most likely in his glory, at least food-wise.

      The Koreans love to drink and eat fried chicken. Their Soju is about 1000 won ($1) per bottle. If “Youman” is in anyway typical of his kind, he will return to Newark (or wherever he is from) weighing 350 pounds with cirrhosis of the liver.

  • The__Bobster

    Poor Z-Head. He’s in deep doodoo for noticing that blacks are black.

  • The Final Solution

    So why hasn’t he been arrested and charged with racism? Why isn’t his career ended on the spot? Oh wait he’s one of those slant-eyed people so he gets a pass.

  • The Final Solution

    My experience in Korea taught me almost everything about race realism. They treat foreigners like the lowest trash. Foreigners are still not allowed to have cell phone contracts even. Not Korean? Never will be. That’s what got me to start thinking about why these people could ‘become Americans’ yet no one could ‘become Korean’. The young generation hate Americans because of some incidents with our military over there. Ironically, Korea is where I had my first experience working with incompetent blacks. The Koreans couldn’t care less about political correctness – they fired one black lady who was certifiably crazy, did her makeup and talked on the phone while in class….she said she was from Chicaaago and had mob connections. First person to be fired in six years at that place. Blacks are indeed a very rare sight in Korea – most of them are US military losers. I had a girlfriend there who said she hated black people. She worked in Itaewon, the red light district, and blacks would always try to pick up on her in the street. They have a sane immigration policy and only tolerate whites as much as they can get English out of them.

    • AutomaticSlim

      From your comment I take it you taught English in Korea.
      I actually thought about doing that for maybe a year, kind of a “sabbatical”. I have been an IT consultant for 26 years in the Finance industry. Wanted to take a break.
      I have read a lot of horror stories, though. Like very long hours and not getting paid. Which is ridiculous, seeing as how they pay less than 3K /month (if the ads are to be believed).

      Were you at least treated fairly at your job? Thanks in advance for any info.

      • The pay varies greatly from country to country, and from job type to job type. It is usually fairly low. Some places provide housing. If you want to come away from it not broke, you will need to pick up tutoring jobs.
        I looked into it because I am unemployed and pass a place that is a top instructor of such teachers on a monthly basis and because I would like to learn Russian – but know I could only do through immersion.
        If you want to know the school I considered just do a post to my blog (www.paradisegone.com), I won’t post it and will reply directly to your email only, just won’t post my email to here. Oh, and if you know any algo guys in Chicago looking for an assistant to bring on, do the same.

        • AutomaticSlim

          Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

          You are qualified to work on algorithmic trading applications?
          That’s complex stuff. You should be very employable.
          I merely work on run of the mill transaction processing apps,but if I hear something, I will try to forward the info.

          If you are interested in Russia, I do know that Deutsche Bank has a very large offshore development site in Russia. Moscow, I believe.

          • I am not a developer. I can to 30 minutes of code a day. I am the guy that can recognize relationships and could use them advantageously if I had capital behind me. My last job ended because the partners got into a war over money.

      • The Final Solution

        Ignore that comment from r j p. The pay in Korea is one of the highest in the world for English teaching aside from Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong. You will make a serious sack of coin, especially if you stay more than one year. If you’re American, your earnings are tax free on top of it. I worked for one of the largest and most prestigious schools in the country so the job security was good and I was guaranteed a paycheck. I earned over $2,000 a month tax free which is quite good for English teaching. At the end of the year, you will get a large bonus which comes out to around $5,000 USD. At my school, you could work more if you wanted to and earn extra money which is rare. The downsides though are not worth it IMO. You can earn far more money in America without having to deal with the BS that you will encounter as a foreigner in Korea. A lot of people can’t handle the stress and you will be working long hours. I really don’t recommend Korea – try the Ukraine or Japan for better options. In Korea, your employer owns your visa so if you quit your job, you lose your visa which is not the case in Japan or other countries.

        • Ignore my comment for a possible $29k per year?

        • AutomaticSlim

          Thanks for the info and opinions. Much appreciated.

        • I have received an offer as a high school chemistry and English teacher, but in China and not Korea.

          • The Final Solution

            Unless they’re paying you 20,000 RNB a month, which is unheard of, that’s not an offer worth considering. The standard in China is about 500-600 RNB a month, or $500.00 USD. China is the garbage dump for teachers. Almost every other country pays more, including Eastern Europe, and the students are far more intelligent and considerate. I knew a few guys who went from China to Korea – they said in China, unless you’re in Shanghai or Beijing, you will be treated like an animal in a cage wherever you go. I would seriously reconsider that offer if I were you.

  • borogirl54

    Koreans do not accept anyone who is not 100% Korean. Children of US servicemen and Korean women suffered the most of anyone there. Ironically, when former Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Hines Ward, who is of black and Korean ancestry, won the MVP award at the 2006 Super Bowl, he and his mother returned to South Korea and they were treated like visiting royalty.

  • ncpride

    This guys remarks remind me of an incident last year at school my kid told me about. All the classrooms have a TV, and the seniors take turns making the morning announcements. One morning, they were having trouble with the lighting and it just so happen a black student was on. My kid said he was really dark to begin with, so all they could see was his eyes and teeth the whole time he was talking, which caused the entire homeroom class to laugh so hard, nobody heard a word that was said.

  • IstvanIN

    google darkie toothpaste, and don’t let the auto suggest work.

  • IstvanIN

    Darkie Toothpaste from Korea

  • Morris LeChat

    OK, this contradicts the stereotype that Asians can’t be funny. This guy is a riot :

    “The Lotte Giants’ Youman is the most difficult player to play against,” Kim replied. “His face is too black, so it is hard to bat because his white teeth and the ball confuses me when he smiles on the mound. So, I suffered a lot.”

  • evilsandmich

    Yeah if I was the pitcher I’d make some serious trash talking hay out of it; I don’t get the ‘outrage’ myself.

  • MBlanc46

    Absolutely. We ought to encourage economic and cultural contact with just about everyone. We ought to discourage immigration and encourage everyone else to discourage it as well.

  • Romulus

    However unpoular, i would classify that title as amisnomer. In my opinion, they are native INDIANS. THE culture and the people that created the “nation” called america on this soil (it could have been anywhere) are directly descended from north and western europe.

  • saxonsun

    Yes. My partner works with a Korean woman who is almost starving herself to keep herself thin. She says it’s that way in Korea–you can’t be fat.

  • The Final Solution

    “these days even Korea is slowly being forced into a multicultural mode”

    Being forced by who? You are wrong. The foreign population of Korea is less than 2%, and most of those are South East Asians from Vietnam, Thailand, etc. They are about as racially pure as any modern society can get. And as for plenty of muzzies roaming the streets, that’s a load of BS. More than a year there and I never saw any muslims. What part of Seoul? There may be a few but I don’t know what you consider to be ‘plenty’.

  • The Final Solution

    What business is it of yours? I was there legitimately with a high-skill work visa. It was also a long time ago. I left when my contract was up. Hardly any foreigners stay there permanently and those that do are usually highly educated and perform work that Koreans for the most part are unable to do. I don’t think I can say the same for most of the immigrants coming to America.

  • Paleoconn

    Who knew South Korea would be whipped by PC, too? You listening, Morri$ Dee$? Can you say $PLC franchise opportunity?

  • wangkon936

    Most of those that over stay their visas are ethnic Koreans from China.