Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Hines Ward Makes a Difference for Amerasian Children

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I’m not a Steelers fan (I do live in the Bengal Nation) but I like Hines Ward.  Here are highlights from a recent article on him that was printed in the Daily News.

Hines Ward and mother Kim Young-hee

Hines Ward and mother Kim Young-hee

Now, entering Super Bowl XLIII, Ward is is a celebrity who is considered a “savior” for half-Koreans who are treated like second-class citizens. He’s become an inspiration to Koreans and a force to alter some of the country’s old-school traditional views and attitudes toward race, and much like the way he plays on the field, Ward is not going to stop until his message is heard.

 “He was teased unmercifully by his friends,” says Andrew Ree, Ward’s longtime friend and attorney, who is Korean. “His black friends thought he looked funny because of his eyes. His Asian friends wouldn’t accept him because of his skin color and he was embarrassed by his mother because she couldn’t speak English very well. She would drop him off at school and he would spot his friends and he would duck down in his seat so they wouldn’t see him with her.”

“She looked over and had tears in her eyes,” Ree continues. “She said, ‘if you are that ashamed of me, don’t be with me anymore.’ From that point, he said he wasn’t ashamed anymore.”

While he used chopsticks and ate Korean staples such as kimchi and kalbi, Ward was discouraged by his mother from exploring his Korean side because of how they had been treated in Korea. A country that was scarred by the Japanese occupation in World War II, Korea prides itself on maintaining its culture and identity.

“What Koreans want is to keep the blood lines pure,” Ree says. “When you mix the blood in some ways in the old days they felt it was inferior. They want to keep the blood line going… it’s almost, for a lack of a better term, a royalty issue. They also feel there is a less likelihood of divorce from that standpoint.”

Ward has returned to Korea every year since his first visit and he has seen his impact.

“I have seen change,” says Ward. “They didn’t (used to) let mixed races into

Korean Children at a Steelers Game

Korean Children at a Steelers Game

the military and they have passed laws to allow mixed races to join the military. I am not trying to change it overnight. I am not trying to be the next Martin Luther King.”

It doesn’t hurt that Ward is now friends with Korea’s President, Lee Myung-bak. And it doesn’t hurt that the new U.S. president, who preaches “change” here, is also bi-racial.


Written by rentec

9 February, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Posted in blogging

One Response

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  1. A very interesting post! I wasn’t up to speed on Hines Ward, but now I am.



    13 February, 2009 at 6:51 am

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