Angered by South Korean soccer star Son Heung-min’s injury and its potential impact on the national team’s chances at the upcoming World Cup, some Korean fans have been bombarding the Instagram page of a player involved in Son’s injury with hate comments.
As of Friday afternoon, there are over 5,900 comments on the most recent post of Chancel Mbemba, a defender of Olympique de Marseille, far more than for any other post on his page. Many of them -- written in Korean -- contain profanity and insults.
During their UEFA Champions League match at Marseille on Tuesday, Son, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, collided with Mbemba in midair and suffered four fractures to his left eye socket. The injury required surgery and leaves the prospects of Son playing in the upcoming FIFA World Cup unclear. He is the captain of the Korean national team.
Several comments on Mbemba’s Instagram page expressed hatred toward the defender, in both Korean and English. Yet while many fans of Son stepped out of line, several other Korean fans denounced such comments and offered comfort to Mbemba.
"Don't listen to the haters. They make a few threats and that's it. Not all Koreans are like that," wrote one user in Korean.