In the 21st century, Korea is undergoing major social structural changes. According to the National Statistical Office’s population and housing census, the number of multicultural households in Korea has already exceeded 1 million in 2019. In the past three years, an additional 100,000 have been added. That’s close to 3% of the total population. Naturally, the time has come for children from multicultural and refugee families to emerge as central members of society.
Recently, changes are detected in the sports field. Players who did not grow up in Korean society, but are of Korean descent and culturally influenced by their parents, want the Taegeuk mark, and each sport is responding to it. Tammy Hyeonsu Edman, who played in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March last year, was born to a Korean mother who immigrated to Korea and an American father who is a college baseball coach. Playing as a starting infielder for the St. Louis Cardinals in the major leagues, he became a member of the Korean baseball team through the WBC participation qualification rule, which stipulates that he can represent not only his current nationality but also his parental country.
If you are a player who grew up in Korean society, an atmosphere of embracing them was formed even if their appearance or skin color was heterogeneous. 먹튀검증 Biwesa Daniel Kashima, whose parents were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was born and grew up in Ansan, Gyeonggi-do. Having chosen Korean nationality in 2018, he is attracting attention as a new hopeful in Korean short-distance track and field. A similar case continues in football. Dennis Osei, who was born to parents who immigrated from Ghana; Punggi Samuel, whose parents are refugees from Angola;
For the success of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Korea has specially naturalized 19 foreign athletes, focusing on weak sports. However, there was a limit in that the opening of the door focused only on the player’s skills. This is because most of the naturalized athletes at the time returned to their home countries after the Olympics. Rather, there is a high voice that policies and management for players with Korean culture and emotions are important even though they have multiple nationalities, were born in Korea or grew up in Korea for a long time. It is necessary to support the participation of players from multicultural families through a system similar to the ‘homegrown’ familiar in Europe (a system that treats players of different nationalities but who have grown for more than 3 years the same as their own country).
Fair is also accustomed to Korean culture through her mother, but it is difficult to speak Korean. If the criteria for wearing the Taegeuk mark were limited to appearance, language, and ability to sing the national anthem, a top-class prospect who loves Korea would have headed for the U.S. national team. Fair’s participation in the Women’s World Cup will be a turning point that will change the thinking of Korean soccer and, by extension, the Korean sports world. At the same time, it can be a role model for young people who want to overcome prejudice against multicultural families through sports.