When South Korea beat Germany 2:0 in the 2018 World Cup games eliminating the defending champions from the tournament, Mexicans went as wild with celebrations as did Koreans.
As Team Mexico got to move on to the next round, with South Korea taking Germany out of the game, Mexican soccer fans found different ways to thank the Koreans.
Only, when netizens found pictures like these trending on Instagram, things got a little awkward. Koreans became agitated with the racially discriminatory gestures captured in these photos.
The Instagram accounts involved received quite a bit of backlash for the picture. One of the Instagrammers since deleted the photo and replaced with an apology statement in Korean.
“I apologize to all Koreans who were offended by my action. I didn’t know that the gesture is offensive and racist. I am ashamed of what I have done and promise nothing like it will ever happen again. I’m sorry.” — @emmanuelojedalopez
A Korean netizen also shared that he/she received a private response after sending criticism via direct message. The account holder stated that not all Mexicans “know that the gesture is insulting or or racist” for Koreans.
Still, a large group of Koreans remain quite upset with what has happened, especially because this isn’t the first time Koreans had to deal with the “slant eye” gesture. In fact, a Telemundo host went under fire for doing the same gesture on television and already received a great deal of criticism. Koreans aren’t convinced the persons in the photo did not know.
Dear @Telemundo @TelemundoSports & @TLMDPR , whoever this guy is on the left needs to get fired ASAP for being a racist on air. If someone were to say or make racist gestures about Latinx folks we'd ALL be up in arms & this is no different #SayNoToRacism #TelemundoMundial pic.twitter.com/SvzSednPAd
— Miguel Hernandez (@Techivist) June 27, 2018
“It makes no sense that they didn’t know.”
“Wow… This pisses me off even more because it sound like they are actually really grateful.”
“When are they going to learn this is wrong…?”
“They aren’t being educated, so they don’t know this is wrong.”
Other Koreans found forgiveness in their hearts and understood that the Mexicans genuinely didn’t know and meant only good intentions, no harm.
“There are other Mexicans who are showing their appreciation like this. They are really grateful. They simply didn’t know.”
“I honestly think they actually didn’t know any better.”
“You know, at this point, I think someone must have told them that this gesture means something good for Koreans. Otherwise, why would that many Mexicans pull this all together without anyone questioning?”
“Did you read the apology? I don’t think a single one of them was aware that this is racist.”
Meanwhile on Twitter, Mexicans, who are aware that such a gesture is racist, are finding ways to apologize and reflect. They are hopeful this will serve as a teaching moment.
Not every mexican is like that, we’re really sorry for you to see those kind of photos. We are actually pretty thankful to korea, but that’s not the right way to show it. pic.twitter.com/sflfFzWRKG
— karlita (@Karla_Alatorre) June 27, 2018
I know this was meant as a sign of thanks, but this is just so wrong and disrespectful. I don't understand how some people fail to see how this sign has continuously been used to harass Asians and belittle them. Even if the intent wasn't malicious, this is still racist
— Yari (@AlwaysInfired97) June 27, 2018
I am so sorry, Mexico still has a lot to learn and hopefully, gradually, we start to change this attitude 🙁
— joon (@bloomktae) June 27, 2018
That's a complete lack of disrespect. Those are ignorant people who I want to believe posted those pics to make "fun", but it's racist and disrespectful. I want to say I'm sorry. We as mexicans are truly thankful with Corea, lets just share love for both of our country's 💜🤞🏻 pic.twitter.com/CEQtp1me2F
— pauJINa (@kookienamjin) June 27, 2018
I do apologize for this 🙁 we really are grateful to South Korea as a whole. Many of us unfortunately have much to learn. The people in those pictures are a bunch of ignorants. We are still trying very hard to teach many of our people that this ain’t right. I’m sorry.
— 📌 BTS GIVEAWAY 🇲🇽 El Mariachi 🌻 (@hoseoklindo94) June 27, 2018