Poking fun at surnames
TAB, the subsidiary sportsbook of Australian betting giant Tabcorp, has apologized for a social media post making fun of South Korean surnames which critics deemed “casual racism.”
aimed at the South Korea team in the FIFA World Cup 2022
Australian trade daily B&T reported Friday that TAB has apologized for the “inappropriate” post which was aimed at the South Korea team in the FIFA World Cup 2022. Australian media journalist Mark Di Stefano first drew attention to the offending post via Twitter:
B&T said TAB has since removed the picture which appeared before South Korea’s World Cup match against Uruguay on Thursday in Qatar. The Aussie sportsbook also made a scapegoat of one of its younger employees, with a Tabcorp spokesperson claiming the “post was generated by junior staff.”
The blunder has led to TAB adding more “checks and balances” ahead of posting future live content.
Adding inaccuracy to insult
Di Stefano’s polarizing post has drawn plenty of opinion from Australian journalists and members of the public. Journalist Jarni Blakkarly highlighted the actual names of the South Korean line-up compared to the names found in the TAB post:
Similarly, on Friday, SBS News cited Shona Yang, a founder of a prominent Korean-Australian social media platform, who also had a thing or two to say about the TAB post. She asserted that it evinced “a lack of respect for Koreans, their culture, talent, skills, and professionalism.” Yang added:
I’m outraged and disgusted at TAB’s tweet. It’s not funny. It’s ignorant.”
“I was born and raised in Australia with a Korean surname and it’s not the first time I’ve heard an offensive ‘joke’ about my name.”
No offense caused
While Yang’s view got much support, many Asian Twitter users said the TAB post caused them no offense. Korean-born user David Lee, for instance, quipped via Twitter the absence of the name Lee in the TAB line-up offended him, and that the post “is not casual racism:”
Twitter user Justin Raby said the surname joke isn’t new, having heard the Welsh rugby team getting the “Jones passes to Jones, kicks to Davies who passes to Davies and here comes Jones down the sideline!” treatment in the past.
“I think it’s a wee bit of a stretch to call this racist,” Raby opined.