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Belgian soccer match halted after Fukushima taunts

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I agree, the game should not be about taunts. It's about the competition. Fans need to keep things in perspective. It's a game - though international athletics has importance in it's own way for various reasons - in the end it is something to be enjoyed. Too many fans tend to place way too much meaning into the success of their team.

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Taunts are part of the game? Steve@FPC? since when? i thought it was about the game, but now it is al about sponsors, selfish libero's and Hooligans.

Idiots like these need to be banned from stadium

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As a former player and coach, I can only say the behavior on the field, with all its theatrics, has become secondary to the behavior of the idiots in the bleachers. God help the game, because obviously those in charge it can't.

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Why do I only ever hear about football fans acting this way? Do fans of other sports do this, or are the football hooligans uniquely moronic?

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Here's a link on Youtube that still works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdbpgURYA8E Worth a look, if you're interested. Sad that these few "fans"using this chant ruined the image of their team and their fellow fans in the eyes of many.

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somebody didn't like my comment about Euro soccer fans. touchy!

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what's wrong with being touchy anyway?

i prefer sensitive people who have sense over insensitive people with no sense.

i'm always surprised at just how low European (including British)soccer fans can go. if it's not insults, it's rioting, and violence. all this talk about "real sport" is just BS. they just use soccer to vent their leftover medieval instincts.

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Spidapig24 Fukushima wasn't heard of around the world before 311! So if someone from Louisiana plays soccer in Europe after Katrina and the fans call him "Jones Louisiana" you don't think he'll be a little offended? And to say that "Japanese are touchy about things being said about them" is a stereotype. What part of there are over 125 million people in Japan with over 125 million different personalities don't people seem to understand. Only those that have this illusion about what they think Japanese are would say something like that.

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It is obvious that they should just finish live games. All future games can be in tv studios.

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I do agree that taunting is part of any sport where the fans have a chance to interact with the players, and that athletes like Kawashima need the mental fortitude to focus on the match. I think for the kind of tasteless taunting that he got, however, Kawashima has the right to complain to the media, post-match.

I think the question remains, should disasters be out of bounds in terms of football chants? Should those fans who chanted that be allowed to do so without impunity? I suppose it's hard to stop that sort of thing. But if that's the case, maybe Manchester United fans shouldn't complain when opposing fans sing about an air disaster and Liverpool fans should shut up about other fans singing about stadium disasters.

By the way, Jubilo Iwata did temporarily ban the teenage fans who mocked the Iranian-American S-Pulse coach with the "stop making nukes" banner.

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What's wrong with tears of rage? Beware a man of passion. Best to have them fight by your side. Trust me.

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He has inadvertantly "enabled" the fans - making them a definite factor in the game - by allowing them to affect which players are on the field.

Fadamor: I would have to disagree with that. The facts show that Kawashima played the whole match and didn't lose his team the game. It showed character that he was able to play even with the taunts. Of course, once the outcome determined and the game over, he could relax and just let it all out since it wouldn't affect his performance or the match. Even though fans would taunt him in the future, they know that he would still play and let tears out after the match is over, thus not making any difference whatsoever to the outcome of the game.

and has the self-control to contain himself, much more of a display of passion than crying.

I agree, sfjp330. It is not good to cry during a match, and I'm so glad to see Kawashima not do that. He withstood the taunts and secured a draw for his team. I'm sure his team appreciates that. He will get stronger from this experience in the future.

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While you may not think the taunting is harmful, what about the 20,000+ deceased or missing Japanese? Talk to their families and see what they have to say about their loved ones loss being used as a taunt in a soccer.... o wait "football" match. These fans taunts were done in very bad taste.

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Correction of above: after tough game, not tough loss. The score was 1-1.

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freakashowAug. 23, 2011 - 09:25AM JST. sfjp330: Maybe you should read the article again carefully. It did not say that Kawashima left DURING the match in tears. He played the full match through the taunts. He left AFTER the match was well over. Note that there is a big difference there.

There is no difference. Maybe for you that never played the game. Opponents may contend that demonstrating one’s emotion after the game is acceptable because it conveys that the athlete truly cares about his country or the team’s success. However, by remaining resolute, refusing to break down and standing strong even after a tough loss shows much more maturity and passion than crying. It shows that the athlete is aware of how his emotional exhibition may affect the rest of the team and has the self-control to contain himself, much more of a display of passion than crying.

If Kawashima need to express their inner sensitive side, even after the game, the playing field is not the place to do it. I am in no way against athletes showing emotion, they are still human after all, but as professional athletes they should have the will power to remain strong during and after competition, for the sake of the team’s health. Crying is best avoided in almost all circumstances. and almost all age groups. Weeping can be a detriment in a team sport, effecting the ambiance of the team. Crying is a show of weakness and a lack of determination, two attributes that have never belonged in the realm of athletic competition.

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I'm a football (American) official so I know a little something about taunting from the fans. ;-)

It was certainly wrong for the fans to be taunting someone about a disaster that the person had nothing to do with and the player isn't "wrong" to get upset over it, but because he reacted in the manner he did, the fans now know they have a "button' they can repeatedly push to get under his skin. He has inadvertantly "enabled" the fans - making them a definite factor in the game - by allowing them to affect which players are on the field. That is NEVER a good thing because once it happens, it will take years to get squelched. His best move at the time would have been to internalize his pain and convert it into a resolve to silently "retaliate" against the team those rude fans supported.

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l agree with you verbal comments are part of the game, and he needs to deal with it.

I do agree with you too that taunting is part of the game and that Kawashima-san did his best to deal with it during the game. I guess I just wanted to make it clear that what happens after it should not in any way be connected to how he behaves on the pitch. I must also admit that what words come out of fans' mouths is their right, just as much as what words comes out of Kawashima-san's mouth; especially when it's off the pitch. It's just terrible how the media always likes to make a non-story into one, such as this. It kind of reminds me of how so many stories I hear about athletes tweeting and twittering complaints during games. To me, it is not a problem, if they aren't playing the game, but the media likes to jump all over what they say and what they complain about.

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Spidapig,

It seems you are still missing the point of context. And shouting New York does not immediately put anyone on mind of 9/11. Maybe shouting Twin Towers might though.

I think that we can agree that taunting opponent’s players is part and parcel of many team sports. Taunting players for mistakes in play, a lack physical fitness or having being caught using prostitutes are quite normal and accepted as the kind of things you just have to deal with. Even the recent taunting of a Korean player about eating dogs is not worth the fuss it caused. But I can only see that referring to an ongoing nuclear disaster that is affecting thousands of innocent people is slightly overstepping the mark here.

Let’s say if your friends or family were killed or injured in a freak yachting accident and I shouted at you ship ahoy!! whilst you were trying to play pool. Would you just think, I was merely referring to sailing generally, which is fine or would you suspect I was laughing at the fact you been affected by a disaster and tell me to shut up or worse?

I expect that we will not agree on this but I guess it doesn’t really matter to either of us anyway. Cheers for the debate all the same.

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freakashow,

l agree with you verbal comments are part of the game, and he needs to deal with it. Guaranteed he has now invited much more of this type of comment. The fact it was mentioned has made it an issue and opposing fans will now use it to get under his skin during games. It is a common occurrence, as soon as you show a weakness or perceived weakness you invite more of the same.

As for the bottle it is a bad thing that it was thrown but it happens lets deal with that and come down on the person that threw it but the way some posters have carried on he was at risk of death from flying bottles. As l said a whole one was thrown. Some posters even claimed glass was thrown. Talk about an over reaction. Was itr unfortunate yes does it happen yes. Does it deserve the ho ha that its attracted? No.

Lets move on and see what happens in his next games. I am thinking we will be having this discussion again soon

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It ceased being "his business" when he complained to the media about it.

Spidapig24: And how is saying, "I am prepared to forget about a lot of things, but not that. It is not remotely funny,” complaining. The press asked him about it, and he simply replied with an answer. Did Kawashima file a formal complaint? No. Did he take it up with FIFA? No. You make it sound like his show of emotion, AFTER THE MATCH WAS WELL OVER, was the end of the world. It wasn't. He still played the full game and did his job.

You make it sound like he suffered a barrage of bottles.

It only takes one filled bottle to land squarely on your head to knock you out. It's just like some player during a fight in a game saying, "But, I only threw one punch at him", or a little kid saying "but I only told one lie". You allow the crowd an inch, and rest assured they'll take a mile. You allow one bottle to be thrown, next thing you know, more will come down. Yes taunting and booing is part of the game. However, I believe that throwing objects on the field during a match is not. The rules should be clear: Absolutely no throwing of objects on the field. I'm sure they don't allow provisions for "one" object or "two" to be thrown.

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Freakashow,

We all must remember that what you do while not working (e.g. when the game is finished) is your business.

It ceased being "his business" when he complained to the media about it. The it became everybody's business if he wanted it to remain "his business" he should have kept it to himself.

Oh and as for the bottles, have you watched the video? Just how many bottles where thrown. Watch it and count, l managed to count one (yes one) being thrown and a can or two laying on the ground. You make it sound like he suffered a barrage of bottles. Almost as bad as the poster the other day saying he feared for his safety. Over exaggeration

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

if the player gets offended by that then he is pretty weak too.

Spidapig24: Well, it's a good thing that Kawashima isn't weak. After all, he didn't cry or complain about what was being said while he was ON THE PITCH, but only after FULL-TIME and OFF THE PITCH. The fact is, that Kawashima only mentioned to the referees that objects like bottles were being thrown at him. He stayed in the whole match and played the whole game. The fact that he played his heart out and earned a 1-1 draw for his team says much about how he was able to gut it out and do well even with the taunts. We all must remember that what you do while not working (e.g. when the game is finished) is your business.

Kawashima, 28, left the pitch at full-time in tears,

nuff said.

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harkins,

so according to you Chernobyl, New York, Bali, Indonesia are all bad words to because bad things have happened there and if someone yells out those words then they are being nasty or bad. Get real, as l have said before it is a taunt, something fans of an opposing team use to put off a player. If thats the worst they can come up with its pretty weak, and if the player gets offended by that then he is pretty weak too. But l guess that would be to complicated for some to understand.

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Spidapig. That was 'nasty or bad' because why on earth would 200 people in Belgium be shouting at an opposing team's goalkeeper the name of a prefecture/city in Japan that they quite likely had not heard of before March this year?

In Europe and likely across much of the world, Fukushima is the word used to refer to the wrecked nuclear power station. I assuume you are acting dumb as a wind up as I can't really believe that it needed explaining.

Just in case, try looking up 'context' in a dictionary.

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Don't these supporters come to the stadium to cheer for their favorite team, not to taunt opponent? If such a thing is common in European league and kawashima isn't tolerant with it, he should transfer to another league.

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Tony Berry Kawashima was upset at what they were saying about the disaster. This is something that should never be brought up like that.

So what exactly where they saying about the disaster. According to the media reports they said "Kawashima-Fukushima" Now please explain to me exactly how that is something nasty or bad. Since when has the word Fukushima become an insult. Did they yell TSUNAMI! or things like that. No they said the name of a city / prefecture. It would be like saying New York after 9/11. Would that be an insult! Seriously people need to grow up. I realise Japanese are touchy about things being said about them but this is ludicrous to say the word Fukushima is a bad word and an insult.

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@hoserfella I don't need to read your posts on this. I am just commenting on what you said on the samauri thing and the crying by Kawashima. Kawashima was upset at what they were saying about the disaster. This is something that should never be brought up like that. It was a very ignorant thing to say at a man from a nation that just experienced it's worse disaster since '23 when over 100,000 were killed in Kanto. That's like someone saying some nasty things about Katrina or 911 to an American! And the Samaurai thing was way out of wack!

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@ambrosia. I meant to say the hundreds of thousands of people that lost their homes! I know how many people died and are still missing I have family in that area so I don't need anyone to tell me what I don't know about Japan or what happens there. We are still looking for people! So thanks your words are noted on my typo.

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A professional footballer should not cry on the field.

Exactly my point, steve@CPFC. Kawashima did the correct thing by not crying ON THE FIELD. Whatever he does off of it is his business. He played the full match, made some nice saves, and helped to secure his team a 1-1 draw. In effect, he earned his pay. All in all, he handled himself well while ON THE FIELD.

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freakashow; If he refused to acrry on because of taunts not through fear of actual physical harm he would be breaking his contract.

Football is a tough game where careers can be very short. Taunts are part of the game, so are massive salaries. I've seen a lot worse before many a time. Doesn't make it right but it is the same for many not just this bloke.He may find himslef getting taunted more now for being a cry bab, look what happened to Gazza.. A professional footballer should not cry on the field.

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As a long time resident of Japan, I often see Japanese shed tears at the most unusual situations that amazes me. For some examples, when given some sort of prize, when fans lose or even win sports matches. I believe this is more of the younger generation rather than the older ones. I've been told by my Japanese wife that expressing emotion outwardly is not a Japanese thing generally. The Japanese smile, for example does not have to mean happiness but rather a way to cover one's emotion. Kawashima could not hold his emotions well which at the time brought strong memories of the disaster to mind. It is understandable. On the other hand, that fan should have gotten a bloody nose.

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Vast stretches of Europe are backwater as heck. Kawashima should transfer to a proper league.

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Maybe Kawashima should not play international soccer. Stay home in Japan.

sfjp330: Maybe you should read the article again carefully, as well as watch the video of the match itself. It did not say that Kawashima left DURING the match in tears. He played the full match through the taunts. He left AFTER the match was well over. Note that there is a big difference there. If he let the taunts affect him and he quit during the match, then you could call him a quitter. However, he did not. What he does AFTER THE MATCH IS OVER, is well within his rights. The fans got to see him play the entire match, so he didn't cost them any money. He was never substituted for and was instrumental in his team earning a draw. The game was stopped for a few minutes in the middle only because some fans started throwing things on the field. I commend Kawashima for at least staying throughout the match and playing through the fans jeers. What he does after the match is over is his business.

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asobasi: "Oh and for the losers out there that think he must toughen up..."

He needs to, bottom line, if he wants to succeed in Europe.

Hide Suzuki: I agree that such things should not be tolerated (the bottle throwing, if they know who did it, should result in immediate banning from soccer stadiums and possible legal charges, besides a fine), but what do you do to stop it? The stands would be empty if the stadiums refused everyone who could potentially hurl an insult, and that would mean no money, which would mean no soccer. I seem to recall an incident earlier in the year where some fans in a stadium here dropped a flag mocking an Iranian player over Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the stadium fined the team whom the fans were cheering for. I also recall that most of the posters on that thread said it was ridiculous to punish anyone because of freedom of speech.

Now, I'm not at all endorsing what these people were chanting -- it's disgraceful -- but again, what can be done about it? I'm all for encouraging people to avoid taunting and jeering, but it's not going to stop them. In fact, sadly, for many spectators it's part of the game.

ebisen: "on the other hand they actually are the uncivilized barbarians (nan-banjin) Japanese described 2-3 centuries ago."

not sure Japan 2 - 300 years ago is the best example to contrast barbarians with.

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Europe is such a contrasting place. On one hand they consider themselves the origin of modern civilisation, as we know it now, on the other hand they actually are the uncivilized barbarians (nan-banjin) Japanese described 2-3 centuries ago.

Soccer games attract the lowest of the low, and I feel this is so much more true in the "civilized" Western Europe...

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Maybe Kawashima should not play international soccer. Stay home in Japan.

sfjp330: Maybe you should read the article again carefully. It did not say that Kawashima left DURING the match in tears. He played the full match through the taunts. He left AFTER the match was well over. Note that there is a big difference there. If he let the taunts affect him and he quit during the match, then you could call him a quitter. However, he did not. What he does AFTER THE MATCH IS OVER, is well within his rights. The fans got to see him play the entire match, so he didn't cost them any money. He was never substituted for and was instrumental in his team not losing the match. Blame the few minutes of stoppage on the mob of people who started throwing things on the pitch.

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As a regular at football matches throughout Europe, I can say that despite the perceptions of many non European football fans, this kind of chanting is both rare and very much frowned upon by the vast majority of supporters, irrespective of their social backgrounds.

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These fans buys a ticket. They pay good money to pay. Sure, the taunt is part of the game. Ichiro, Matsuzaka, Fukudome, Irabu, and all other Japanese players that play overseas had many racial taunts. They might taunt you about your whore mother, father, the dog, the cat, steriods, Pearl Harbor.There alot of drunken idiots on any games. Anything that get to your skin. This is the reality of any athletes in international competition. Maybe Kawashima should not play international soccer. Stay home in Japan.

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@Hide

You can't really compare football with baseball. A fairer comparison would be cricket and baseball. And I bet the top English cricket teams would perform better in the Central or Pacific Leagues at baseball than would the best Japanese baseball team trying to play cricket in the County Championship.

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@Burakumin

did he still play on with the one eye?

Gordon Banks, the greatest ever England keeper, lost the sight in one of his eyes in a car crash in the 1970s. He couldn't possibly have played in England again, but found a team in the United States to play for.

I think that says a lot about the standard of US soccer in the 1970s. :)

And if you want real heroics, look up Bert Trautmann: he played for Manchester City in the 1956 cup final, broke his neck with about 15 minutes to go, but carried on to the end. Mad.

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Hey Steve? I don't follow your logic if you have any. Also your constanct bilittling J-league is annoying. I don't make fun of you guys based on how crappy your baseball teams are. J-league started in 1993, of course it's still developing, and nobody in Japan has the delusion that J-league is better than top leagues in Europe. But somehow you feel the need to mention that.

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Good onya Steve. You are a passionate Palace fan, I respect you for that and good luck.

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Hide Suzuki; the J League fans are like robots programmed to all chant the same thing over and over again in unison. Give me a seat in the Arthur Wait stand in the pouring rain in winter watching real football.

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My Scottish club, like any other, has some scumbag fans. A player from our local rivals had an operation to remove an eye and had to face "Cyclops" chants.

That's disgraceful. If I may ask though - did he still play on with the one eye? That's commitment for the team - but seems pretty dangerous if you injure the 2nd one. Just asking.

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My Scottish club, like any other, has some scumbag fans. A player from our local rivals had an operation to remove an eye and had to face "Cyclops" chants. Banter is one thing, but there are boundaries which no decent person should cross.

I feel for Kawashima-san.

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@Tony Berry Obviously you didn't read my posts or if so, completely lost the gist of them. And how pompous of you to think that Kawashima somehow cared more about the devastation in Tohoku more than anyone else. You ignored my point that it's utterly juvenile for a grown man to cry when being teased.

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ambrosiaAug. 22, 2011 - 11:53AM JST

He's not the first to have been insulted in such a manner and he won't be the last.

I don't think it was meant as an insult nor do I think he actually felt insulted.. They made light of his countrymen dying in a disaster and made a painful memory that much more painful. The sheer barrage of insensitivity was the problem, not a mere insult.

I appreciate that you do not approve of the behavior of the fans though, and thank you for making that clear by describing what they as garbage. In fact, I would call the people doing it human garbage, but I don't expect anyone to follow my lead on that.

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Interesting that some posters are saying 'I don't condone the taunts' whilst saying Kawashima should 'get strong' and 'deal with it'. That is pretty close to condoning it!

Not really. I think able-bodied people should be able to tread water, but I don't condone someone throwing you into the deep end of the pool if you can't.

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No, he didn't leave in tears DURING THE MATCH, he left in tears AFTER THE MATCH.

Excellent point, freakshow. Although Mr. Kawashima may have cried after the match was complete, he persevered through the taunting during the match and didn't let it affect him by helping his team earn a draw. That was quite professional of him to do so. Of course, once the game was finished and the outcome clear, shedding tears off the pitch should be no problem.

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@ambrosia

Exactly, thank you. I would have written the same but I couldn't summon the energy to put my ideas into words.... :)

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Gyouza: If by the same you mean completely different then I see your point. Sadly, you can't just change the meaning of words to suit your needs, if you want others to understand you. Acknowledging something exists is hardly the same as condoning it. If you tell your teenage child to try defensively because there are loads of bad drivers are you condoning bad driving? If you tell your daughter not to be too trusting of men she doesn't know because there are dodgy ones out there are you condoning that dodgy behavior? Do I need to give you more examples? Neither I nor any of the other posters are condoning the taunts. We are though choosing to live in the real world where those taunts and worse exist. We are choosing to acknowledge that Kawashima will likely face worse so he needs to continue to be strong in the face of them. This only equals condoning if you have no understanding of what the word means. You might like to think you're better than others but the problem is that change doesn't happen if no one acknowledges there's a problem. Apparently you'd like to pretend that the taunts don't exist so Kawashima doesn't have to worry about dealing with them. Awesome! Where can I get some of those rose-tinted glasses?

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I don't have a "moral compass" -- merely a magic 8-ball that always reads "Reply hazy; ask again later." With that in mind, let me just add a couple of more thoughts:

It is up to the coach to determine if playing conditions are unsafe for one's players (cf: John Thompson and the Georgetown basketball team during its recent game in Beijing.)

It is up to club ownership to deal with fans that create an unduly unpleasant atmosphere for all paying customers. Fans need to be encouraged to express their opposition in legitimate ways, or they have to be asked to leave.

It is up to the media and the public at large (that's you and me) to set the tone as to what is and what isn't acceptable public behavior, and I think we all agree that what the fans were suggesting here was tasteless at best.

Really, the only person in all of this who is not required to do anything is the player himself. He is, after all, performing for paying customers. He is not playing a game as a hobby; he is a professional. Jewish doctors are still ethically bound to treat neo-Nazi skinheads, lawyers are still required to defend villainous scum, and teachers are still expected to do their best teaching students who just don't give a fig. That is what pros do. And if you can't be a pro, your boss -- however understanding he may be -- will have to find someone else to replace you.

That's why all of us who are supposedly without "moral compasses" are in favor of Kawashima keeping his feelings out of view of the fans. We want him to succeed, not be driven from the game. It's just that sometimes it's better to let other people fight on your behalf.

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I feel for the guy, but it's unfair the way some posters are slagging the whole of European football's fanbase. Different countries have different standards of behaviour. Heck, even within England different teams' fans have different standards.

I follow Coventry and West Ham back home and I know exactly what to expect in the way of chanting at their games: Cov fans are foul-mouthed, sexist, utterly devoid of wit, but never racist. West Ham fans are foul-mouthed, sexist, very, very witty and a bit racist now and then. And I don't think you'd have heard the Fukushima chant at either team's game: the Cov fans are too thick to have heard of Fukushima, and the West Ham fans would have taunted a Japanese keeper with something actually funny, not stooped to this level.

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"The match ended in a 1-1 draw, but Kawashima, 28, left the pitch at full-time in tears, ..."

It seems that some people need to read this line from the article above again, which is also written in many other media outlets. The video of the match confirms it too. Kawashima played the whole match. No, he didn't leave in tears DURING THE MATCH, he left in tears AFTER THE MATCH. Please note that there is a big difference there. It just proves that he was able to hold his resolve and play through the taunts, and was instrumental in his team securing the draw. So in effect, any statements about him needing to "toughen up" are uncalled for. He was tough and played a hell of a match.

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Interesting that some posters are saying 'I don't condone the taunts' whilst saying Kawashima should 'get strong' and 'deal with it'. That is pretty close to condoning it! Some moral compasses may need resetting somewhere, I always thought that issues should be dealt with before they become major problems. Might be too late for football though, the absolute hatred I saw in the UK at a top game a few weeks back was disgraceful. Embarrassed to have my kids with me at the time.

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@steve@CPFC Troubles at NBA and NFA are nothing like the hooligans in Europe. "J League is like kids football compared to europe" Bwahahahahaha, because we behave ourselves ? Stop stereotyping ? You should stop denying the reality.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

he cried off the pitch, no harm no foul

I totally agree with you, ambrosia. I don't see what the fuss is all about since he showed strength and resolve while he was playing the game. Some people just need to get a life and let him show his emotions while not playing the game. Good on Kawashima-san.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kawashima needs to learn about the different supporters he faces, their background, history etc - and give it back to them. I always remember the Aussie goalie Mark "Bozza" Bosnich used to taunt the rival fans in the English Premier League after copping plenty himself. Admittedly, his Nazi "sieg-heil" and goose-step in front of Tottenham fans was probably a bit much, but the point is Kawashima should return the sledges - they are unfortunately not going away now they know his weak point. Maybe he could wave a white handkerchief - or do a Bozza-style goose-step - to the Belgian fans to mock how they always surrender to Germans in wars? lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Freakshow: How many times are you going to post the same thing? I've answered your question more than once already so this will be the last time. If he cried off the pitch, no harm no foul. If he cried on the pitch he needs to keep that in check or the taunts will just continue and perhaps be worse now that they know his Achilles Heel. As I said, I couldn't tell from the video if he cried or not so I was basing my opinion on the media sources which said he did. If you have a problem with their reports take it up with them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On the pitch, concentrate and keep your mind on the game.

ambrosia: Which is exactly what Kawashima did. If you watched that match, you would've seen him block several good shots taken by the other team. Unfortunately the defender Gilberto failed to clear a ball when it landed at the feet of striker Losada, which ended up being an easy equaliser, which Kawashima couldn't do anything about. Thus, ending the game in a 1-1 draw. That result alone proves that Kawashima stood up to the taunts admirably. They didn't lose the game, even if Lierse is a pretty shitty team overall. If he cried off the pitch after the game was well over, so what?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

why should one cry over remarks of bad taste and brainless stupidity?

if your job is to entertain rednecks, sometimes you ponder if this was the best career choice right?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tony Berry: Hundreds of thousands of lives lost? Are you talking about the Boxing Day tsunami? If not, get your facts straight. I believe that in Japan the March 11 disasters took closer to 20,000+ some lives. Surely that's a big enough number that we don't need to be exaggerating it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oracle: Yes, it's insensitive and barbaric and uncalled for. No, it's not worth a tear! Why give any validity to such nonsense? First off, the people chanting are strangers and we may disagree but in my mind that already makes me think a person should be less inclined to be affected by their words. Second, if people are low enough to yell such garbage why in the world would you give two cents to what they say regardless of the subject matter? It's like getting mad at a baby whose first words are offensive or a parrot that learned to mimic some nonsense. As for your last example. It happens. Watch more football and you'll hear it. He's not the first to have been insulted in such a manner and he won't be the last. Unfortunately, now that they know what his Achilles Heel is, it won't be the last time for him either. I'm not condoning such taunts for anyone all ready to misinterpret my words!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they had instead heckled an American team with 9/11 no one on the American team would have cried. They might have instead charged the stands with anything they could find as a weapon. Might have resulted in international boycotts.

why should one cry over remarks of bad taste and brainless stupidity?

How about sheer insensitivity of the deaths of thousands? It gives me a bit of physical pain to know that so many humans are so low.

Truly, this is on the level of taunting a German team with the Nazis, an Israeli team with the Holocaust, a Russian team with Chernobyl and an American team with 9/11. Its beyond the pale. It is barbaric. It is worth a tear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

why should one cry over remarks of bad taste and brainless stupidity?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@hoserfella,

Obviously you don't know much about Kawashima. He toured the quake/tsunami zone during the off season and was devestated by what happened. I would've felt the same if I had the chance to tour the area too. So then when he gets taunted like that of course it is going to hurt him! It doesn't make a difference whether he is from a nation with a Samaurai history or not, he is human and he cares about the lives that was lost as does I. My wife is a Samaurai descendent but not all Japanese are, many aren't. But that doesn't have anything to do with today's world. Not when you have the most powerful quake ever recorded on your home soil and see the hundreds of thousands of lives lost. So do us all a favor and get out of the 19th century and get into the 21st century. This is a very sad and trying time for Japan but now Japan has the support of the world. When Japan was being bombed by America during the war there was no help as many starved and died in the streets like dogs. Nobody cared about them then, so now with all the support Japan gets from such a huge tragedy says a lot about how far Japan has come since the "Samaurai' age! Let's not forget that Japan is a totally different country than she was before '45. This is a time to look at Japan as what she has really been since the Tokyo games, a nation that has been cooperating on an international level that deserves to be treated with respect and honor.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On the pitch, concentrate and keep your mind on the game.

ambrosia: Which is exactly what Kawashima did. If you watched that match, you would've seen him block several good shots taken by the other team. Unfortunately the defender Gilberto failed to clear a ball when it landed at the feet of striker Losada, which ended up being an easy equaliser, which Kawashima couldn't do anything about. Thus, ending the game in a 1-1 draw. That result alone proves that Kawashima stood up to the taunts admirably. They didn't lose the game, even if Lierse is a pretty shitty team overall. If he cried off the pitch after the game was well over, so what?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

salarymanbluesAug. 21, 2011 - 02:05PM JST

Most readers here miss the point. What the crowd said is completely irrelevant, the point is that a professional has to ignore it no matter what it is being said, simple as that. Of course what the crowd said is despicable, but it is a waste of breath to even make that point.

salarymanblues: I think the point here is that there are 2 points. One is from a European football fan's perspective, which is "If Kawashima expects to succeed in professional European leagues, he needs to develop thicker skin".

The other perspective is from a "reality" standpoint which says: "Just because it's soccer (or any pro sport for that matter), it doesn't mean anything goes." Lines of common courtesy, civility, and at the very least, respect should exist and were lacking in this case; that is why so many are outraged, that is why the game was disrupted, and that is probably why this article was written.... not because Kawashima cried.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Savages! I thought that England was the white trash capital of Europe, with their only export being soccer hooliganism and rioting! Well, they appear to have some rivals! A totally unacceptable taunt, that should be dealt with by giving the guilty baboons life bans! Anyway, soccer is a joke of a sport! Also Ol' Kawashima should toughen up if he wants to play a game surrounded by uneducated simians!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Should Kawashima learn to adapt to European culture?? Should these soccer fans learn to grow up?? Is it morally correct to taunt others? Like I said, France, next door has many, many nuclear power plants, and if just one gets a melt down, or say a terrorist goes in their or is already working there but really loves Al Qaeda etc..and all hell brakes loose, Belgium is right next to France, so they may end up like the next so called Fukushima, and maybe at another soccer match, people will be taunting the Europeans about their own nuclear mess??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

KOJINSARU

Such poor sportsmanship from the fans. Good job on the part of the reff by stopping play. Mocking the tragic results of Fukushima and the tsunami is so low typical Euro-trash

Its so funny when something is said about the great and mighty Japan its racism or said by "Euro-trash" yet when its said by Japanese against another nationality its "oh well". I remember not so long ago some highly intelligent Japanese fans making comments about an Iranian coach. Where was the outrage from these indignant Japanese folk then. Oh thats right its only a bad thing when directed at there countrymen. Maybe time to buy shares in a tissue manufacturer after the little sulking in this game you can bet there will be more to come. After all now crowds know how to get under his skin.

Oh and while it is a lame comment to say "Kawashima-Fukushima! Kawashima-Fukushima!" surely they could think of something better. How exactly is it offensive. Personally l think Mr Kawashima needs to harden up a little as do some of the posters on this forum

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hooligans get into phisical fights all the time and there have been many deaths, you don't see that with NBA, NFL or J-league. it is about a male dominated sport where gay players to this day cannot come out due to fear,

There's nothing wrong with having a bit of a scuffle at football.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

If British sport is as steve@ says,it's nothing more than a cess pit

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Such poor sportsmanship from the fans. Good job on the part of the reff by stopping play. Mocking the tragic results of Fukushima and the tsunami is so low typical Euro-trash.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What does Fukushima have to do with sport: nothing. When people of low intelligence can't think of anything intelligent to say they chant meaningless things... Grow up!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hide; J League is like kids football compared to europe, NBA and NFL have deaths and crowd trouble to, Stop stereotyping British and Europeans.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ms 'Oneill. The part of London was very behind in things, they called a spade a spade, and Irish Micks. This is not what i think but the general language where i lived at the time.

What i experienced from my life in the UK in 70's until 2000 was a lot of banter at footy, At Palace we wree one of the first to have black players becaus eof Coppell but we had quite a large NF support. When we played many of our fans were making monkey noises at other teams black players but not our own.

If you are playing football as a proffession you have to expect this stuff. In the higher leagues of Europe you makie dceent money. Offensive things are said, but it is part and parcel of teh game when tens of thousands are in the crowd.

When we talk about football it is about a male dominated sport where gay players to this day cannot come out due to fear,The abuse is by alls ections of society. Most who go to these matches are working.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

While it's true that far worse things have been said during soccer games, it doesn't mean that we should tolerate idiots like these. They let these scums do whatever they chant in Europe, and what happens ? Hooligans get into phisical fights all the time and there have been many deaths, you don't see that with NBA, NFL or J-league.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@steve

Agree 90% with everything you've posted but...don't go calling cricket a middle-class sport. It might be down south, but up in Lancashire it's a working man's game. And I doubt Mr Kawashima would last two minutes batting in the Lancashire league.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ambrsia, we beg to differ, goodnight

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I grew up with miners and it's hard to imagine any of them being reduced to tears on a pitch due to fan taunts. You may not think that's emotionally healthy but that's your problem not theirs.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Erikaj: I certainly never called him a loser or said he didn't deserve a second chance but "if it makes people like you" feel better putting words in other people's mouths then have at. If he wants to cry off the pitch, throw things, get it all out, fine. On the pitch, concentrate and keep your mind on the game. He plays on a team which means other people are relying on his ability to block out childish taunts. He's been playing professional soccer for at least ten years. Granted most of them were in Japan and Japanese fans taunt of choice would've been different but they aren't all sweetness and roses either. Surely he watched European soccer and knew how rude the fans could get. This can't have come as a huge shock to him and again, given the horrible things that are regularly said to black players the only thing I find surprising is how surprised some of the posters are by these taunts or is this kind of behavior somehow acceptable or easier to ignore when directed at non-Japanese players? Is someone going to now try and convince me that those blatantly racist taunts are less vicious and hurtful, when they cut to the core of who you are?

Good thing you're not a coach because one who'd tell his players to let it all out anywhere besides the pitch wouldn't last long. Your players wouldn't be taught the mental discipline necessary to take on their opponents and would either be too teary-eyed to see the ball or would be red carded for fighting. Keeping your emotions in check is a very necessary skill for any top level player. If you really and truly don't understand that then it's hard to imagine why you're even commenting on an article about professional sports. It's professional sports not a community college acting class.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is typical Belgian...or rather Flemish, as they are the most egoistical selfish people on this planet and think only high of themselves. They have no respect for others whatsoever and think they are Über! Racist pathetic scum is what they are!

Cry about racism while holding a silly grudge against 11 million people.

Only on JT.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Ms O'neill; Life is hard and love is sometime the victim of success.

I have been on the terrcaecsof Palace calling opposition players who knows what and oppostition fans.already in teh top leagues our support ha sbeen eroded by murdoch and the middle class prawn sandwich mo

you play in Europe, and you expect a bit of jib., you are getting a massive wage, grow a spine!!!!

We who have roots in SE London are making a stand aganist prima donnas like this chap.

Come down the Palace V Crawley match on Tuesday and adults are a tenner, kids and pensioners a fiver. We love our community and don't have our heads stuck up our own backsides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Effin' unbelievable that any poster here could in any way find justification or rationale for using the deaths of 20,000 people as fuel for "jest" in a lousy soccer match, much less in ANY situation.

LFRAgain -- Huh? Respectfully, 20,000 people did not die due to Fukushima. They died as a result of the natural disaster that struck the entire Tohoku region. Fukushima is related to a man-made disaster caused by decades of TEPCO and the J-government willfully ignoring critical safety issues, compounded by complete incopetence in managing the crisis. Now, I'm not in any way trying to defend what these fans did, but let's focus on the facts, and not a very narrow view of the insensitivity you assume exists here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Steve self praise is no praise the results of a persons upbringing is judged by the greater community Respect is earned and not an automatic right that is becoming of iether wealth or position in soceity.Perfect? No , None of us are perfect I just dont see why tears are an excuse for critisism of a persons maturity or lack of it. Proffesional footballers are indeed well paid, so are many other celebrities ,of course those that graft for a living may never be paid the financial renumeration their endeavours deserve, thats life and we do our best. I can just imagine the reaction you would get from a coal miner having lost workmates in a mining accident if simular jibes had been aimed at him during a sporting event. Tears may be the last thing the ignoramouses see before hitting the dust

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What would you have them do, focus on the taunts and lose concentration on the game?

ambrosia: Nope. My advice would be to let it all out rather than hold your emotions inside and let it eat at your soul until it causes you to have an ulcer, or something. Have your cry, shout at the world, or whatever, and be ready to fight back the next time. Give him a chance to learn. He will be able to use this as a learning experience. But I guess people like you are not into giving people second chances and are willing to automatically pin them as losers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ms O'Neill it can be easy to think of our opffspring as prefect do gooders and that may well be the case with you and if it is well done, i applaud you.

This is a lads game, in the top flight the readies are there. many can make more in 1 year than the average man can in a lifetime. Fair? of course not, but such is modern life. Put up with abuse, jolies or whatever you wsih to call them,, these chaps knwo what pro football entails and get the just reward for their entertainment. If they have to cry and call mummy, perhaps J League is more suited for their talents.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Erikaj: You may not have intended it but you just proved my point. Tiger's lost his mental edge which is why he's fallen so low in the standings and not won a major event in over a year. So given that, how would telling a player to learn to ignore the taunts be anything but good advice? What would you have them do, focus on the taunts and lose concentration on the game? There will always be a@&holes and you're unlikely to change their behavior so you can only change the way you react to it.

Everyone else is assuming things but you're sure of them? Interesting how that works

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As a mother of both sons and daughters all of them reared to be honest, thoughtfull of others and not AFRAID to display there feelings you may think otherwise but that is your . perogative. Having reared 6 of them to be worthwhile inhabitants of this earth, no mollycoddoling I reckon they are all entitled to a few tears at times. Incidentaly my first reaction to loud mouths would be to punch their lights out, but then sanity prevails

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Like it or not, the fans can be vicious. The best advice any player can get is to learn to ignore it.

Try telling that to athletes like Tiger Woods. Last I heard, his sports career has taken a nose-dive because of the constant taunts about his love life. I guess even "elite" athletes like him can't stand the pressure and taunting. It's easy for armchair "athletes" like us to say "just ignore it", but takes some getting used to. I'm sure now that Eiji Kawashima has the emotion out of his system, he will be more emotionally ready the next time he encounters that sort of heckling again.

Also, we shouldn't assume that this was the first time he has encountered taunting. I'm sure he has before and handled himself well before. It's just that this time, it got taken a bit too far with some physical things thrown at him. I'm just appalled that some posters here are ready to throw him on the stake just for one small tiny incident; and yet are willing to forgive other athletes for worse travesties and crimes. Sheesh! Allow him his time to live and learn.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some fans can be real a.s.s h.olds these guys using Fukushima taunts well just prove my point!! Belgians should remember that France next door has many many nuclear reactors and that they could end up worse than Fukushima!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Comments are allowed to stand that point the finger at the working class for this kind of thing. It has been found that over 50% of European hooligans are from what we would call middel class families. Why? Because footy aint cheap.

They are scum, but it is part and parcel of his job.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

arobasi; There are no locker rooms on football. they are called changing rooms.

He makes a tidy packet, If he doesn't like the crowd retire and work for 1% of the wage in Family Mart.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

By the way, it was not Kawashima who made the game temporarily called off. It was the referee himself that heard "Fukushima" singings in the Beerschot crowd after the bottles were thrown. Of course that you ask for explanation (see the gestures with his hands on the video). So smithinjapan, get your facts straight. Oh and for the losers out there that think he must toughen up, if he didn't cry in the locker room after the full time whistle, this article wouldn't even have reached local media and the racisme and hate against Kawashima would have gone up in thin air. None of you would even have heard of it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hoserfella; Maybe for the first time i agree with you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Christina O'neill

Eiji expressed an emotional reaction to the inhumane chanting of a few ignorant morons.

I disagree. Eiji expressed an emotional reaction by many Japanese boys who've grown up treated as "Little Emperors" by their coddling mothers.

Eiji displayed his humanity

Nope. Eiji displayed his lack of maturity

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

There would be far less incidents of nervous breakdowns and the need for pschiatic intervention amongst males if they are allowed the freedom to express their emotions through tears.Big boys dont cry is often what the male child has drummed into them from infancy, Eiji expressed an emotional reaction to the inhumane chanting of a few ignorant morons.Considering the devestation and loss of life in Fukishima which is still effecting the emotions of almost all of the Japanese population,the chanting was a very cruel jibe. Eiji displayed his humanity, cry if you want to, never mind the so called all male all xxxxx critics

1 ( +3 / -2 )

this taunting always happens in european soccer games. Remember the "monkey sounds" addressed to the black players in the italian league particularly to Samuel Eto. The guy didn't let this baseless acts affect his game. He toughned up and now he is about to sign of of the richest contract transfer from AC Milan to the russian club Anzi. I feel sorry for Kawashima but he should not be affected by the attitude of the fans.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

steve: Too right! Read Among the Thugs and Fever Pitch to start with and you'll learn just how many of the so called hooligans are middle-class, white collar professionals. There's a lot of classism in painting all of the idiotic fans in questions as being lower class. Low class yes. Lower class is a whole other prejudice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

arobasi: Get over yourself and try not to tell people you know nothing about how much they love or care about Japan and its people. You're not better than anyone here because you think you feel more upset about the recent disasters. You don't know who among us was personally affected by the earthquake, tsunami or nuclear accident. You don't know what our relationships are to Japan and the people here. Some of us have been here as long as Kawashima has been on the earth. For anyone to assume that by being Japanese he's got more right to feel sorrow or mourn what has happened any more than posters who live here, have family and friends here and have made their lives here is itself bordering on racist. Get off your high horse of indignation and try to read the posts for what they are actually saying.

1) This kind of thing goes on in football all the time. That doesn't mean anyone is saying it's okay or acceptable but simply that any player hoping to have a long and successful career is going to have to learn to ignore it.

2) This kind of behavior is not directed solely at Japanese, not by a long stretch. Blacks are frequently the targets of very vicious taunts as are players who are assumed to have stepped out of line in any way; requesting trades, experiencing slumps, sleeping with prostitutes (ask Rooney if the fans were delicate and sensitive with him), etc.

3) No one here is saying it's acceptable behavior. Yes, I'm repeating myself but it seems to be necessary.

4) No one here has in any way made light of what the Japanese have recently experienced or said it's acceptable fodder for taunts.

5) Do you get this indignant when black and Jewish players are taunted and have things thrown at them or is this a case of feeling the Japanese are somehow more worthy of protection and indignation?

6) Like it or not, the fans can be vicious. The best advice any player can get is to learn to ignore it. If you've read even half of these posts and gotten any other message from them then you're just looking to be irritated and indignant and that's just silly.

7) The taunts have little or nothing to do with the disaster. They have everything to do with trying to find a player's weak spot and picking at it until he looses it. Thankfully, you're not the one giving the players advice on how to handle the taunts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Better link:

lierse.com / ja

or

http://www.lierse.com/files/imagecache/inter_news_pers/files/admin/Nieuws/2011/Maart/lierseloves japan.jpg

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Disgusting how people actually try to extenuate what is said. It simply is NOT DONE by those Beerschot fans. I was there live in the stadium and it was 200+ people who sang it. How can you not react to these kind of "taunts" as you call it? It's not even taunts, it's pure racism. Last Lierse-Beerschot game they sang "meeneemchinees" (take-away Chinese) at him, he didn't react then because he didn't understand it.

How there are people that think this is nothing, goes beyond my mind. You absolutely have no heart at all for the Japanese people. Lierse SK fans on the other hand supported Japan after the earthquake and tsunami on 20/03/2011:

http://www.lierse.com/files/imagecache/inter_news_pers/files/admin/Nieuws/2011/Maart/lierse_loves_japan.jpg

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Unfortunately usual basic soccer supporters... As much brains as the ball itself...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Marcelito and all future posters feigning indignation: NO ONE IS TRYING TO DEFEND THE BOORISH BEHAVIOR OF A SMALL GROUP OF FANS. The comments are in regards to Kawashima's supposed reaction to the fans. Again, no one is defending the fans.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I don't see much Belgium Bashing. funny Because IF it was in the US I KNOW people on here would be going CRAZY over it. Yeah i do agree it was stupid to yell out his name with fukushima. Very immature people, of course theres ALWAYS! fights & Problems during soccer games OH EXCUSE ME! (Football) its taken WAY too seriously.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What a cry baby.

Get angry and show them you're better. But don't cry about it! Maybe he should hang up the boots and get a job as a tv talent instead.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Those fans are a bunch of lowlife idiots and so is anyone that is trying to excuse this... is this sportmanship?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Let's get over the whole Belgium bashing too.

I totally agree. Bashing all Belgians is totally wrong. Most of them are find upstanding people. Just like bashing Kawashima for simply showing some emotion is totally wrong. He did his best to take the taunts and ended up playing the whole game in the end. Bashing one whole nationality for the actions of a few is terrible.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let's get over the whole Belgium bashing too. It proves nothing but that posters can be as ignorant as a small group of fans. As I recall, there was bullying of kids from Fukushima when they had to relocate and that was done by Japanese. Anyone care to call all Japanese insensitive and moronic because of that?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Do you know the three hardest years in a Belgian school? Second Grade.

C'mon - we all know this is just a small, moronic minority of Belgians. Having been there, I can attest that they are good folk. I'm sure everyone remembers only a few months ago in a J-League game here, the Iranian Shimizu S-Pulse coach was taunted by a small section of the local crowd (Kashiwa?) about his nation's nuclear ambitions. Does that mean all Japanese are stupid? Absolutely not, just a small section of them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the end, I'm glad that Kawashima was able to handle the taunts and hold his emotions in until way after the match. It was also good that he didn't start taking his anger out on opposing team players or fans. Good on him.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you know the three hardest years in a Belgian school? Second Grade.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

hoserfella

LFRAgain - I haven't read one post that justifies or rationalizes what was chanted. You just wasted all that great indignation.

Goto say, post of the day!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

LFRAgain - I haven't read one post that justifies or rationalizes what was chanted. You just wasted all that great indignation..

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

HowdyDoody: Are you serious? Do you know nothing about history and how people's ability to dehumanize others resulted in the deaths and enslavements of millions? Go to Africa and ask any of the fans or players there how they feel about some of the insults hurled at their players and then tell me how those are just words. But then ask them how they'd feel about a player crying because of such insults and I guarantee you they'd find that appalling. They'd want him to be brave, ignore the childish chants, win the game and throw the insults in the face of the ignorant fans through his strength, mental and physical. At the end of the day, it's not a matter of which insult is worse. That's what you and the others defending him (if he indeed cried) don't seem to understand. The fans will find your weakness and dig at it until you prove that you are too weak to handle it. And, come off it! No one is saying that people should say such things or throw objects onto the pitch and you know it. All anyone has said is that fans do this and part of being a top level player is being able to handle it - assuming the situation isn't life threatening. Your attempts to suggest that anyone here finds such behavior acceptable are ridiculous and grasping at best.

Gyouza: It's unlikely that anyone posting here has had tens of thousands of people chanting abusive slogans at them. It's also highly unlikely that anyone posting here has been paid hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of dollars to ignore those chants and play a game. A player at this level isn't chosen solely on his ability to play. He's also got to be able to handle the stress that comes with being a top-level player. If he can't handle that he's no good to his team and certainly not worth what he's being paid. If you can't handle the things that fans say then you should go into long-distance running or tennis, where fans are kicked out for making too much noise and breaking a player's concentration. That way too, you won't be disappointing the rest of your teammates when you give in to your emotions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Effin' unbelievable that any poster here could in any way find justification or rationale for using the deaths of 20,000 people as fuel for "jest" in a lousy soccer match, much less in ANY situation.

Disgust is all I'm left with after reading some of the trash in this thread. Some folks really need to re-examine their priorities in life.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Toughen up buttercup. If he wants to play in the European Leagues, he needs to get used to this, which is only meant in jest and is just part & parcel of the crowd. Some of the chants against Arsenal I've heard here are like this - but he ought to be thankful he's not in the Premier League where he'd probably curl up into a ball in the locker room and not make it out to the ground.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

HowdyDoody,

My comment about things being thrown on the field were directed at someone who claimed glass was thrown on the field and at the player and if it hit him in the face it would be dangerous.

The fact is no glass was thrown, and the object (a plastic bottle) landed meters away. If 2 objects thrown on the field are enough to call off a game temporarily then thats pathetic. Have you ever seen a cricket match on the sub continent? The outfield is normally littered with rubbish. Infact watch almost any sport and at some point something will get thrown. Its sad but its a fact of life. I am not supporting it l am simply saying he has now by his actions shown his weakness for all opposition fans to exploit simple as that.

As for your statement "However, these taunts were disrespectful to others who have perished tragically and those still suffering from the aftereffects." how is saying the guys name and word Fukushima disrespectful. Since when did the word Fukushima become a negative or derogatory term? I thought it was just a name of a place. But again Japanese sensitivities come out for all to see.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I still can't believe how some posters here can be so insensitive. Racial taunts against you is one thing. In fact, I could handle that. I'm sure Mr. Kawashima could as well. However, these taunts were disrespectful to others who have perished tragically and those still suffering from the aftereffects. I also could handle people calling me names, but when they start directing it at others who I care deeply about, then it hits me hard. I'm sure Mr. Kawashima played as hard as he could through those taunts, but maybe at one point, an image of dead bodies and damaged homes suddenly flashed in his head, and then the emotion could not be contained.

So he complained over 2 objects being thrown on the field near him.

Spidapig24: Are you saying that it is normal and should be acceptable for fans to throw things on the field during a soccer match? I totally disagree with you. Whether it be a plastic bottle, a glass one, or whatever, it shouldn't be allowed. Players are not paid to dodge things that fans throw at them. No matter what you say, it isn't part of the game.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

freakashow

Of course he complained because objects like bottles were being thrown his way. To me, having glass in your face can be quite dangerous. But, I guess you would stay even if dangerous objects were being thrown at you.

Hilarious, you say objects like bottles being thrown his way and having glass in his face. Wow you must have good eye sight the clip you provided shows 1 can on the ground and a plastic bottle fall nearby. No glass as you claim, but l guess a plastic bottle doesnt sound as deadly as a glass one. So he complained over 2 objects being thrown on the field near him. Not at him but near him. Oh an dangerous object yeah right those deadly plastic bottles wow they can really kill.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It isn't about WHAT is being chanted, it is the sentiment behind it. Has anyone here ever had tens of thousands people chanting aganst you? Think it would be easy to shrug off? Don't be too sure, and then projectiles as well? How would you feel with your back to these animals whilst trying to focus on the game?

It was all just game induced hatred - it is quite sick to witness first hand, and without any logic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OnlyAGaijin: "The tone of these comments seem to show that some writers condone these sort of acts of verbal abuse and it's OK to do it!"

I don't see anyone on here -- not one person -- saying it's okay to do these sort of things or who condone them. What I DO see is people misdirecting their anger (much in the same way as the people who taunt from the stands in soccer in general) at posters who merely state the point that taunting exists, and at a far worse level than what Kawashima received.

Take note: just because a person said they've heard worse taunts and seen the players react with less emotion does NOT mean they condone what was said here or taunts in general.

While it's nice that Kawashima's a sensitive guy, I'm afraid that what happened on the pitch today is only going to fuel more of such behaviour. I only hope he realizes that the he controls how he reacts to the taunts, the people do not control him. I don't think he's weak -- he just needs to see that the shallow insults are just that; shallow insults from people who are FAR below him. He doesn't have to ignore it or become a robot, just don't give into it and let it affect him so hard on the field.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Either way, I stand by what I said in regards to professional players having to be emotionally tough.

I totally agree with you. Which is what Kawashima showed while he was on the pitch. Good on him for showing the toughness and composure to jog off the pitch, clapping his hands and showing a thumbs up, without crying about it (as the video clearly shows), and holding back any tears until he was well behind closed doors and in private. Shame on the media for taking a non-story and making it into a full-blown spectacle. Again, the link for the video is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBVM0TojPhA

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ambrosia: "Either way, I stand by what I said in regards to professional players having to be emotionally tough."

Exactly!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

calm down: "this isnt about 'your momma wears army boots' smithinjapan.."

I didn't say it was. You'll notice in my post I referred to a baseball player whose mother died and a fan shouting at him, "I'm glad your mother's dead". Did I say he said she was wearing boots? Oh! You meant in general! Well, so did I, from the merest "boo" from a fan to, as another poster mentioned, throwing bananas at black people on the pitch -- I think sledging is wrong. I don't condone what these people do just by pointing out the fact that what they do exists, so don't kid yourself.

"its about one very,caring person who appears to have been shattered by how low some will go to win a football game.."

Once again, while what these people chanted (the projectile is of course wrong in the illegal sense!) is absolutely atrocious, there has been far worse, and probably will continue to be. As another poster said, they actually have to segregate the fans in many games because of how ugly they can get, and people will actually go to the games for the sole point of hurling racial slurs. Horrible stuff, and perhaps they ought to look more seriously into regulating it -- but it would be a very big, very hard thing to do at present.

"theres enough hardened people walking around out there oblivious and unwilling to help others,the world needs more Kawashimas ."

Oh, come on! So if Kawashima, angry on the inside, used said anger to push back and show the people he won't let it affect him on the field, he'll become a robot automaton outside the stadium as well? It's great that he's a sensitive guy, and I hope he continues to be (especially off the pitch), but that still doesn't mean he can't shoot back through his actions on the field instead of stopping the game and breaking down.

Breitbart: "The Bieberosity in that one is off the charts. 16 minuses and sinking."

You're a Bieber fan? Yuck. Anyway, good thing the numbers don't mean a thing (especially when certain posters just erase the cookies and vote again, or do so on another computer). But do you actually have something to contribute to the discussion?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I agree that the when is important which is why I said he should cry into his pillow. I can't tell from the clip if he cried or not but the story above and a number of other ones said he did so if your problem is with the media take it up with them. If he didn't cry great. Either way, I stand by what I said in regards to professional players having to be emotionally tough.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like it or not, those tears showed weakness

ambrosia: Whether he shed tears or not, is not the point; it is when. The point is, that the video clearly shows that while on the pitch, he didn't cry and even encouraged his teammates. All his fans and teammates saw was a guy removing himself from a potentially dangerous situation. If he shed tears in the locker room, then that should be perfectly fine. It is human nature to finally let some of your emotions run free behind closed doors, just like it is human nature for the media to latch onto any little thing and blow it out of proportion.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's good. His head should have been held high. He shouldn't have cried though, as has been reported by a number of news agencies. Like it or not, those tears showed weakness and will only open him up to more taunts. While tears can show sensitivity in some situations in other they are a sign of a lack of mental toughness. If anyone is really honest they'll admit that that's true.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

All I got to say it must take some real mental giants and geniuses to taunt a player of a sports team using something like 'Fukushina".

Yes, taunting is part for the course but there are also standards or should be based on how much you are part of the human race.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Leaving the pitch because your life is in danger I understand but suck it up and walk off with your head held high.

And that's exactly what Kawashima did. He simply informed the referee that bottles and other objects were being thrown his way, jogged off the pitch, while clapping his hands and raised a thumb, with his head held high. The closest thing to tears I saw from the video, was a grim face and that's it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBVM0TojPhA

2 ( +4 / -2 )

tickets to first tier league European soccer games are cheap enough for most unemployed trash to afford

Err pattie Cake, try an afternoon out at Stamford bridge, Old Trafford or the Emirates and then come back and tell me how affordable they were.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Before we condemn all Belgian or footie fans for being racist louts let's remember that it was a minority who were shouting. Using the Fukushima disaster as a pretext for bullying didn't start in Europe either. It started among Japanese school kids here in Japan when kids from Fukushima were relocated. That ought to give you an idea of the maturity level of fans who'd use such taunts. I certainly hope that Kawashima's advice to those bullied kids wouldn't be to give up and cry. How can you even take seriously such childish taunts regardless of how crass and tasteless they might've been? Leaving the pitch because your life is in danger I understand but suck it up and walk off with your head held high. Save the tears for your pillow.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

He complained to the umpire and then cried after the game. Why?

Spidapig24: Of course he complained because objects like bottles were being thrown his way. To me, having glass in your face can be quite dangerous. But, I guess you would stay even if dangerous objects were being thrown at you. Also, while he was shedding a tear or two, he wasn't "crying like a baby", as you claim. He simply went off the pitch, with his head held high and clapping his hands together for his team. You can see a clip from that game on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBVM0TojPhA

You can clearly see him not "crying like a baby" at all!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pathetic ignorance-unfortunately, soccer attracts its fair share of morons

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All I've learned is, tickets to first tier league European soccer games are cheap enough for most unemployed trash to afford and rant whatever comes to their rather degraded minds.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It doesn't say anything here about him not playing in a professional manner because of the taunts, so why the accusations from people here?

And what's so unusual about soccer players sobbing their pathetic little hearts out? You lot never heard of Gazza?

Quit accusing Japanese people of things a lot of other people do ffs. It makes you look like racist bigots, though far be it from me to suggest that that would be an accurate impression.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So there are a lot of touchy people on here that dont agree with what my first post was. And that was that this guy needs to grow up and toughen up if he wants to succeed in his sport. He complained to the umpire and then cried after the game. Why? because the crowd shouted out his name and said Fukushima after it. WOW did the crowd say anything about thousands dying? nope. Did the crowd say anything about Japanese glowing in the dark? nope. All they said was his name and Fukushima and this guy cried.

I have heard worse insults than that at sporting matches that havent resulted in the targeted person crying like a baby. People who play sport at high levels will be the target of sledging to put them off their game its a fact of life and to show weakness like this has merely invited more of the same now that everyone knows what gets under his thin skin.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Seems like some posters are blowing this all out of proportion. The fact is that he left the match mainly because it was getting to dangerous for him to stay out on the pitch with all the bottles and other projectiles being thrown his way. Also, it didn't seem as if he was bawling non-stop as some posters here has suggested. Just a few suppressed tears were shed, and that's it. To me, getting him away from violent fans that could hurt him seems very reasonable. I guess it is just so easy to judge his actions from behind a computer sitting on a cushy chair, for some people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

anything to psych a player out get him angry enough and he will make mistakes

In Japan it happens too !!! I went to a college rugby game in Saitama.

It was 2 japanese colleges playing against each other.

There was 1 foreign player from England in the match.

I heard taunts and jeers from the rival team saying in japanese, " Get the gaijin ! " " Get him ! " " Gaijin hey ! "

blah blah blah !!!!

It happens !!!

People should stop, taunting the player`s skin color.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I agree with Sharpie. No matter what sport or what team is playing, using MASS death or anyone's death is beyond disrespectful. I would go as far to say it is a hate crime. They should give penalty points or kicks to the targeted team.

I wonder if you irradiated, drowned and crushed those Belgian fans families and friends then chanted that you were happy they were dead... how many would cry tears of fury that a whole world has gone mad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Of course the taunts are going to make him emotional but as a professional player he needs to turn those emotions into something that benefits his team. Why not shout "For Fukushima! " "For Miyagi!" "For Iwate!" everytime he stops a shot? Turn it back on the fans who were trying to get under his skin. I completely disagree with those who are saying posters are condoning the fans boorish behavior because they don't think Kawashima should've left the pitch in tears. He shouldn't have. It's as simple as that. That in no way means people should shout such nasty things but they did and they will continue to, especially now as they know it bothers him. The alternative is not suggesting he run into the stands either. The only reasonable suggestion is that he toughen up and concentrate on what is happening on the pitch, not what is being said from the stands. However sympathetic his team may be to his country's loss I'm sure they'd also prefer he keep his mind on the game. He's playing for a team, not himself. He gets paid well to have physical and mental toughness. As for Eto, if I'm not mistaken, he walked off after repeated (many games) racists taunts and after having things thrown at him and other black players numerous times. It seems that his walking off was a last ditch effort to get FIFA to do something about what had become a potentially dangerous situation. Not quite the same as Kawashima leaving in tears, sorry.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Blimey, have any of you ever been to a top league football match? This is standard stuff. Some are better than others. When David pleat (who I think was the Spurs manager at the time) was questioned about kerb crawling, as he walked to the dug out someone threw a blow up doll from the crowd. Also I am just old enough to remember the first black player, Clyde Best, West Ham (I think) to play in the English (then) first division. Back then outrageous insults to blacks were totally acceptable. Even two decades later the great Liverpool midfielfer John Barnes had to endure people throwing bannanas at him. Wayne Rooney had to put up with death threats when it was rumoured he might move to city. Plus he really had it laid on when his wife temporarly left him when it was revealed that he was having a fling with a prostitute. The chant at that time was "no woman no Kai (his son)".

If you want to play in the top leagues, earn the big money and adulation then you have to take the crap that sometimes goes with it. Good players use abuse to motivate them and then give the finger to the crowd when they score a wonder goal or save a penalty. Apart from anything else, what on earth must have his team mates thought about his weeping. Showing his weakness means other opposistion fans are sure to repeat this. Best thing he can do is wear a no-nukes logo on the back of his jersy.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Of course what the crowd said is despicable, but it is a waste of breath to even make that point.

That's ironic because whenever some Japanese group says something despicable, half the posts referring to the event involve lecturing about how they haven't learnt the lesson from WWII. But you are right, as I said before, Belgium is not a real country so you can't be mad at things that come from that so called country.

Part of the 'beautiful game', a moniker they gave themselves (pffffft ...) soccer has always attracted the basest, boorish, most violent of supporters and my theory has in part to do with at least, the low scoring rate. A stupid game and terribly overrated. Japan seems to be one of the few countries where it is played with any genuine sportsmanship. Ditto Japanese rugby, the level of sportsmanship is wonderful.

While Rugby union is a violent game however, the fans who turn up to them are often very likable folks, yeah so the game-fan dynamic is quite the opposite to soccer really.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

What's up with most of the peopl here? Haven't you ever been to a match? Most games have taunts like that especailly derby games. I see we get the usual toffs stereotyping every football fan as a thug. I have been going to watch football since the age of six and heard a lot worse than this. if you don't like it,stick to going to the opera or theater with your old uni chums.

Of course some fans say nasty things, sticks and stones as they say.The keper is probably making well over 2 million a week, living in a fancy house with an expensive car, surely enough compensation for having to hear some taunts.

Seems like a lot of Japanese are far too sensitive about what others say but are ok with Japanese dishing out abuse to foreigeners.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Tasteless? Yes. Worth crying over? Certainly not. He has a right to be upset but come on, jeering is a tactic and it seems that the Belgians won with him leaving at half. Does he need to "toughen up"? Don't know but he certainly needs to learn to ignore things and focus on the game a bit more.

I like him - he's intelligent, speaks a few languages, seems like a caring guy - but now I am only going to think of him crying. Such a shame.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's hard to condemn tasteless soccer fans from a country that isn't...real.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most readers here miss the point.

Exactly. The point is that some players play the game just for the money and thus can remain emotionless robots. Others wear their hearts on their sleeves and play the game for the love of it. I guess most posters here would've liked Kawashima to just go through the motions of playing soccer and show no emotion whatsoever. Some people just like to bash athletes for crying tears of hurt and joy, no matter what the reason is.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Most readers here miss the point. What the crowd said is completely irrelevant, the point is that a professional has to ignore it no matter what it is being said, simple as that. Of course what the crowd said is despicable, but it is a waste of breath to even make that point.

It's unfortunate that most JT readers simply have a kneejerk emotional reaction without considering the fact that the guy is indeed a professional athlete and a role model who is expected to perform in front of boisterous fans who may not share nor care about his precious feelings or delicate personal standards.

This really is a case of being an over-sensitive crybaby.

They just called out a place name. If they had been shouting something like, "you should've died in the tsunami" or some kind of racist chant, it might've been a different matter.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Most readers here miss the point.

What the crowd said is completely irrelevant, the point is that a professional has to ignore it no matter what it is being said, simple as that. Of course what the crowd said is despicable, but it is a waste of breath to even make that point.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

smithinjapan:

Sorry, my friend, but while the taunts were absolutely tasteless, such taunts are part of the game in REAL soccer. When European teams go at it -- they GO AT IT, and the fans have absolutely no mercy. Use it as fuel to do better if people are going to stoop to such lows.

The Bieberosity in that one is off the charts. 16 minuses and sinking.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Asy did you read the article your commenting on ??? 2nd last paragraph pretty unambiguous.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

digiridoo, southsakai - so that's your answer to being teased? Cry, then quit? As tasteless as the chants were, thats European soccer so he'd better learn to live with it. If you want to see how things should be dealt with, read about the garbage Jackie Robinson had to endure from both opposing fans and players alike. He took the high road and let his talent on the ballfield do the talking.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

absolutely appalling. The team with the fans who did this should have their home games for the remainder of the season banned from having any spectators. that would show that such behavior is not to be tolerated.

A sport is about the ability of the players, and this just goes to show how narrow-minded many humans are.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So sad to hear about so many stupid football fans out there. Kawashima-san has nothing to feel ashamed about having shed a tear or two. I'd rather he react that way, than run to the stands to attack and fight with a fan (which I'm sure some insensitive posters here would like him to do). At least he won't get suspended and arrested for attacking a fan. It's also terrible to hear that many hooligans in this match were throwing things at him. To me that is outright dangerous.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well, all you Belgians living in Japan - you must be deeply and indelibly shamed by the idiocy and raw vulgarity of your compatriots. Will the Belgian Embassy issue apologies? I would hope so.

Soccer seems to bring out the ugliest of the low class Europeans who make up its major fan base. And I used to think American football games were ugly....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Disgusting way to behave these Beerschot fans. Just disgusting!! I didn't know they can stoop so low.

digiridooAUG. 21, 2011 - 12:43PM JST Horsfella, Spidapig24 and others, you should be ashamed of yourselves for calling him a 'sook'. At least by shedding tears he showed he had a sensitive side.

Yes i absolutely agree with you on that. ABSOLUTELY AGREE

6 ( +9 / -3 )

ignorance and coldness to a tragedy he witnessed first hand

Kawashima is from Saitama and has lived abroad since early 2010...

-8 ( +3 / -9 )

Japan has to get over this crying at the drop of a hat BS.

Agreed. You're a fully grown man, a professional athlete, and a role model. You break down in tears simply because some boisterous fans shout "Fukushima"? Over-sensitivity gone mad. It isn't even "raaaacist". All the bleeding heart empathizers need to step away from the keyboard and get a grip. This man is not a little girl. Like it or not... when you work in a stadium filled with thousands of fans, you can't expect to hold everyone to your personal standards, dealing with the occasional ignorant tease or taunt is part of the job description.

-11 ( +3 / -12 )

Harden up ? What do you think was the source of his tears..abject disappointment in the heartlessness of these 'fans',lack of even a speck of empathy or,maybe just total frustration of the ignorance and coldness to a tragedy he witnessed first hand...this isnt about 'your momma wears army boots' smithinjapan..its about one very,caring person who appears to have been shattered by how low some will go to win a football game..theres enough hardened people walking around out there oblivious and unwilling to help others,the world needs more Kawashimas .

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I'm interested, how about when Samuel Eto'o walked off the pitch in Spain whilst playing for Barcelona because he was on the receiving end of monkey chants. Should he have "grown a pair"? Or was he right to highlight the wrongness of what was happening? How about when Mario Balotelli (in Italy) and Roberto Carlos (in Russia) did the same thing? Are they weak, or were they standing up to something that obviously wasn't right?

Or how about in Aussie Rules when Collingwood supporters chanted "rapist" at an opposition player who questioned but released over a sexual assault allegation. Is that chant just part of the game?

Good on Kawashima for not letting it pass, and thus making it acceptable.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Welcome to the world of soccer "fans" in Europe. Disgraceful as it is, I have seen and heard far worse. "Fans" wishing cancer on Beckham's children. "Fans" throwing bananas at black players. "Fans" who go to stadiums for the purpose of hurling racial abuse at rival fans - and watching zero of the game. One of the only major sports in the world where they need to physically segregate fans due to their aggression and violent nature. Kawashima had better get used to it - now they have found his weakness, "fans" are going to give it to him every week.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is awful! Anyone who says he over-reacted is an insensitive (insert profanity here). Anyone who actually saw the devastation and effects of March 11th would be affected emotionally by it for quite a long time. Shame on the hecklers, and shame on those who can't seem to grasp the human emotions tied with the memories of Fukushima and those areas affected by the disasters in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

1000's of years of Samurai culture reduced to this guy bursting into tears and complaining to a referee about being teased. Grow a pair..

-20 ( +4 / -21 )

Well put TheirryB - The focus and comments should be on what the fans did, NOT how Kawashima reacted .

darkbob gave a good reply, but must realize that Kawashima did not react with anger - His reaction was sadness -

And the fans still did not care - Very Sad!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I played keeper for many years and being the target of taunts was standard. Left the field in tears? What a bloody sook!

-19 ( +2 / -19 )

I am French, living in Yamanashi-ken since 2 years and lived before in Belgium during 15 years. What I see is the total reflect of stupid people who don't know were they are going. This country is drowning with all the people. Dear Eiji, I am very sad for you and share your horible vision you had and felt with all you saw in Japan. We are all fully with you to fill your heart with all the happiness and comfort we can bring to you. Courage Eiji, you are not alone.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What ignorance! This man is just trying to play futbol! WTF is wrong with these people?!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@OnlyAGaijin: Zen again, anger knows to types, controlled and uncontrolled. Kawashima has every right to feel anger but in contradiction, as someone here has also has posted he should never react. It simply gets the reaction the baiters wanted. Eric Cantona 'lost it' with these morons and there seems to be a real abundance of them in the 'silly game'. Cantona must have regretted it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Of course it's a sensitive matter to the Japanese people, but Kawashima should not get personal about it. He should have stayed till the end of the match and then in an interview expressed his anger, sadness, etc...The way he behaved it's an one way ticket back to Japan. Fanatic fans are a serious problem in every sport, players should just ignore them.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I'm amazed of the number egotistical comments that Kawanishi should toughen up etc - The tone of these comments seem to show that some writers condone these sort of acts of verbal abuse and it's OK to do it!

That's the problem with the world today - the selfish "In Your Face and I Don't Care attitude" is causing so much friction and retribution. And moral respect, with good sportsmanship in this case is rapidly disappearing.

Please remember the famous saying:

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger – zen

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Another Japanese crybaby. The ref did a really good job, there is no place for such a taunt.

-14 ( +1 / -13 )

***Does anyone know if he lost relatives in that tragedy in his country? Boooo Hisss Belgians!!!!!!! Poor sportsmanship! They should be caned!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kawashima needs to toughen up?!?!?! Some of these posts are unbelievable. Why all the focus on Kawashima? What did he do wrong? These ignorant @ssholes are the ones that need to be lynched here. Let's put it this way: If Kawashima ignored these taunts and came up with a shutout, then great for him, what a great show of professionalism, he will go places in the future..... But he didn't. He couldn't, and I think it's safe to say that we all understand why he couldn't. It's because he's human. So he didn't turn out to be a superstar caliber professional.... he just turned out to be human; how can you blame him?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Kawashima needs to go and restudy his 'professional sportsmanship 101', where you learn never to respond to the crowd.

I have to say his response sounds completely pathetic. People here are defending him saying the crowd are wrong etc, but this is besides the point. The crowd can say what they want, players have to ignore it, thats the way it goes. If the crowd does something illegal or against the rules of the stadium, then they will get done in due course.

-14 ( +2 / -14 )

It's Belgium. I don't know why Kawashima or other J Leaguers would even want to play there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope the authorities use video footage to find, catch and ban those 'Sicko Thicko's' from all future matches - as the Poms do with their Hooligans!

Bloody Disgraceful!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Fact of the matter is that no matter how sensitive or classless a taunt may be, this is pro sport and it will happen. The sport tries to intervene only when it becomes socially unacceptable for television, such as racist chants targeting certain players. I am myself Japanese and would find a chant or heckling anyone's actual disaster shameful. However you DO HAVE TO NOT let others get under your skin. If someone wants to taunt you, or even fight you on the street, the person will probably resort to verbal tactics to try to convince you that they have crossed a line that must be met with some REACTION to their inappropriate action. A goalkeeper need not react at all. A goalkeeper will be peppered with abuse his whole career. I think hes a great goalkeeper and I hope he figures out how not to let a fool affect him.

"The match ended in a 1-1 draw, but Kawashima, 28, left the pitch at full-time in tears, and spoke of his anger at the chants."

What I wanna hear next time is that he put up two middle fingers to his taunters and then directed his anger into a cool resolution and finish that game 1-0. THEN he can will have the last laugh as he walks off the pitch.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

True sportsmen do NOT taunt.

That's so true. I can see a little taunting about your style of play, your looks, and such. Even a whole crowd booing can be handled. However, when taunts by a mass of people in unison is taunting something as sensitive as the death of thousands of people whom you may have some connection with, then I can understand how it can touch a nerve.

Taunting is one thing, but projectiles like bottles being thrown your way can be dangerous. How could you continue to play when you could get hit with a bunch of glass on your head.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Racist taunts happen to everybody all the time. Doesn`t have to be a superstar player.

It happens to me all the time. I get racist taunts daily usually from intimated girly boys and girly men in japan.

I hope he can use channel his anger and use it to be the top defender in Germany.

Its funny !!!! If they ever throw something at me or touch me ITS ON !!!!!!!!

I guess some europeans are xenophobic too !!!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Iowan: "True sportsmen do NOT taunt."

What about the women? :)

"True competitors support their opponent."

I don't know if I'd go so far as say 'support', but most certainly 'respect' their opponents.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

calm down: apt name. "No No NO!! Smithinjapan sledging is part of SOME games but a line is drawn in the sand over where barbs cant be aimed and the 'fans' who used Fukushima(could there be an even lower common denominator out there?)should be traced and banned.."

Why is this the lowest common denominator? I would think the reference another poster made to when a fan insulted a pitcher and said, "Glad your mom's dead" is a whole lot personal, and as such a lot worse. I'm not saying it's good at all, and I'd like to see most, if not all, 'sledging' gone from the game, but they guy needs to develop a thicker skin. Like I said, don't let the groans and shouts of a few idiots destroy your game -- turn it into positive energy to stick it to them! They are bit little people in the stands who are petty and trying to affect the game in their own little way. In this case, sadly, they succeeded to an extent.

Again, I'm not advocating sledging in the least, but it's there, and if people cross the line you push them back over it through the game -- not let them break you down.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Kawashima just has to learn to ignore this.

Absolutely not. This is not about kids taunting kids. These are adults who need to reflect on their actions.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Taunting" is NOT "part of the game."

Taunting is part of un-sportsmanship: done by those who fear losing.

True sportsmen do NOT taunt. True competitors support their opponent.

Kawashima is right.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Part of the 'beautiful game', a moniker they gave themselves (pffffft ...) soccer has always attracted the basest, boorish, most violent of supporters and my theory has in part to do with at least, the low scoring rate. A stupid game and terribly overrated. Japan seems to be one of the few countries where it is played with any genuine sportsmanship. Ditto Japanese rugby, the level of sportsmanship is wonderful.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I agree that Kawashima has to toughen himself up.

By reacting to it, he's giving it power.

Kids taunting another kid get really happy when they get a reaction.

Of course, the taunts are disgusting.

The stadium authorities have cameras, don't they?

Surely they can find out who the culprits are and ban them from future matches?

In the meantime, Kawashima just has to learn to ignore this.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That is so classless. I can see having a thick skin about being booed for being a poor soccer player, or your looks, or body shape. Those things you can take. However, being taunted about something as sensitive as the death of thousands of people is absolutely uncalled for.

I can truly understand how a constant taunting of such a tragic event could suddenly bring back grim and grisly images of what happened, which could then fill you with emotions that won't end; especially when that event was something in which you had a strong connection with, or experienced part of it first-hand.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

...are jews taunted about the holocaust at sports events? no

Yes they are. You have obviously never been to a Spurs v. Arsenal North London derby match. For those who don't know, Tottenham has a large Jewish community and the Arsenal fans make full use of this. Awful, but a fact nonetheless.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When I say (truly) that I have never watched a soccer game in my entire life, I mean it as a boast. I have all kinds of reasons for disliking the sport, without even mentioning that it seems to attract the very worst kinds of obnoxious lowbrow mobs to its stadiums.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Brainless soccer supporters. Disgusting to say such remarks, they deserve to end up in jail.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Only in Europe

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Eiji, just football louts, they sit on their brains, no taste, no decorum, no manners

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Apparently "Kawashima-Hiroshima" was getting stale.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I'm glad to see there are some sensible posters in here. I have a LOT of family in that area, some have lost their houses due to earthquake or Tsunami and others are forced out of their houses due to radiation. I myself live 200 miles from the nuclear power plant and seeing I have 2 young kids don't think the increased radiation I'm seeing is a matter of laughs.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

no, this is all wrong. are americans taunted about 9/11, are jews taunted about the holocaust at sports events? no. you never ever use the death of so many victims as fodder for something as meaningless as a soccer match. anyone defending these idiotic fans' tactics are just as pathetic.

11 ( +12 / -2 )

Some "sports" fans really have no class.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Excuse the directness, but Japanese people have such thin skins these days......'left the pitch crying'....the wimp should have ignored them; instead he won himself a new nickname that will haunt him as long as he plays in Europe....

-9 ( +3 / -10 )

Soccer fans are too obsessed about that game. Very sore losers. Any hint of their team losing and they will resort to anything for a win. SCUM...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is true that European (soccer) matches attract the lowest of scum. It can be hard for players from a different part of the world to cope with that. And BTW there is nothing wrong with someone showing their emotions.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Wonder if Harimoto-san would give this a "katsu" or "apare"? Something tells me that considering what he had to put up with back in the day (and it didn't stop him from doing his job) he'd give Kawashima-san a "katsu". Gotta have a thick skin if you are gonna be a pro - jerks in the stands are very much part and parcel of the game.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No No NO!! Smithinjapan sledging is part of SOME games but a line is drawn in the sand over where barbs cant be aimed and the 'fans' who used Fukushima(could there be an even lower common denominator out there?)should be traced and banned..

10 ( +11 / -1 )

No, Kawashima is not wrong at all. His sensitivity is commendable, in fact. But it doesn't matter whether it's football or baseball or running for president -- when you're in the public arena, you have to develop a very, very thick skin, or you will be driven out. Jackie Robinson endured much more than probably any of us posting on this forum, and instead of getting upset he heroically fed off of that abuse to achieve greatness.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

The crying is a little much, but some people are just sensitive. Nothing wrong with that.

In the meantime, expect no better - and much worse - of European soccer fans. (Let's compromise. I'll simply say, "most of them".) They leave their IQs, sensitivities, respect, and common sense at the stadium entrance. You can almost hear the toilets flushing right after they open their mouths to say something. Yeah, they're full of it.

15 ( +16 / -2 )

"The match ended in a 1-1 draw, but Kawashima, 28, left the pitch at full-time in tears, and spoke of his anger at the chants."

Sorry, my friend, but while the taunts were absolutely tasteless, such taunts are part of the game in REAL soccer. When European teams go at it -- they GO AT IT, and the fans have absolutely no mercy. Use it as fuel to do better if people are going to stoop to such lows.

-25 ( +9 / -31 )

Wow! Kawashima is somehow in the wrong because a bunch of savages have now respect? Maybe some people need to get their priorities sorted out. Football is nothing more than a sport, and it would seem a sport that attracts the lowest life forms as supporters.

31 ( +33 / -3 )

Japan has to get over this crying at the drop of a hat BS. I agree that the fans were out of line and should've had their skulls smashed in but all this crying I see in sports, especially Koshien, doesn't carry over well on the rest of this planet.

-14 ( +11 / -22 )

He is absolutely correct -- it is not remotely funny at all -- but he's going to have to learn that if he can't deal with heckling, his career is going to be over in very short order. Red Sox star Wade Boggs' mother was killed in a car accident, and at a game shortly thereafter an opposing fan called out, in a voice everyone could hear, "I'm glad your mother died!" Boggs just stepped out of the batter's box momentarily, then slammed the next pitch for a hard single. There are people who can and will say the most awful things. Kawashima has to get past that.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

OMG what a bloody sook. He left the pitch in tears AW DIDEMS.... He obviously isnt mentally strong enough to play sport at this level then, as most sports sledging is used as a intimidation tactic to put the opposition off their game and if you cant handle it the you shouldnt be there. Afterall they are just words and now because of his wimpy reaction every opposition team supporter now knows how to get under his skin at key points in a game.

-47 ( +9 / -50 )

really awful. poor guy...

6 ( +6 / -1 )

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