Some players who play in the K League 1 Ulsan Hyundai are under fire for exchanging racist posts on social media, referring to a foreign player, Sasalak (Thailand), who played for Jeonbuk Hyundai.
The problem started with the Instagram account of Ulsan Hyundai defender Lee Myung-jae, which was published on Nov. 11. Sasalak’s name appeared out of nowhere as teammates Lee Kyu-sung and Jeong Seung-hyun continued the conversation through his Instagram account.
The comments were made after the team’s 스포츠토토 5-1 home win over Jeju United in the 18th round of the K League 1 on Oct. 10, when the players were praising Lee Myung-jae’s performance.
Sasalak is a Thai national team defender who played for Jeonbuk Hyundai in 2021.
In their conversation, Lee Kyu-sung wrote, “Southeast Asian quarter is strong,” to which Jung Seung-hyun replied, “It’s amazing,” to which Lee Myung-jae replied, “It’s because of you, Asia quarter.
Park Yong-woo also wrote, “Sasalak’s form is crazy,” and the team manager responded, “Sasalak super tackle.
Fans who checked Lee Myung-jae’s Instagram pointed out that the reference to “Sasalak” was racist through media reports.
“Park Yong-woo, Lee Myung-jae, and the team manager used the appearance of Sasalak, who played for Jeonbuk, as a source of laughter in the Instagram comment section and practiced racism just because he is Southeast Asian,” one soccer fan criticized.
Many soccer fans speculate that Sasalak’s real name came about as a result of players teasing each other about Lee Myung-jae’s dark skin color. The commented post has since been deleted.
In response, an official from Ulsan Hyundai said, “We are aware of the exact situation and will investigate the truth at the club level.”