Ohtani’s good deed, which was shaken the day before ‘donating 60,000 gloves to elementary school’, but controversy over discrimination in Joseon schools? “I’m not asking for a gift, but…”

Japan’s top baseball star, Shohei Ohtani (29), has announced a plan to donate about 60,000 gloves to elementary schools across Japan, sparking controversy because it excludes foreign schools such as Korean schools attended by overseas Koreans in Japan.

The Saitama Shimbun, a Japanese media outlet, reported on Feb. 2, “Ohtani, who plays in the Major League Baseball, announced his plan to donate gloves to children. The Sports Agency under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is accepting applications for donations from elementary schools and special needs schools nationwide through education committees, but there is a possibility that foreign schools such as Korean schools and alternative schools will not be able to receive the gloves because they are not accepting applications.”레모나토토 도메인

Ohtani is one of the biggest stars in Japanese baseball and one of the biggest stars in Major League Baseball. In 716 career major league games as a hitter, Ohtani batted .248 (681-for-2483) with 171 home runs, 437 RBIs and a .922 OPS, and as a pitcher, he went 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA in 86 games (481⅔ innings). He won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2018 and was a two-time unanimous American League MVP in 2021 and this year. Ohtani is the first player in Major League Baseball history to win unanimous MVP honors twice.

On November 9, Ohtani announced on Instagram that he would be donating gloves to approximately 60,000 children attending elementary schools in Japan. There are about 20,000 elementary schools in Japan. I want them to have happy days with lots of energy through baseball. I hope to one day play on the same baseball field as one of the recipients of these gloves. Finally, I would like to thank everyone who helped with this project,” he said in announcing the glove donation. Ohtani will donate two right-handed gloves, one left-handed glove, and three combined gloves per school for underclassmen from this December through next March.

Ohtani’s glove donation is sponsored by glove manufacturer New Balance Japan. “A New Balance official said, ‘Donating gloves to foreign or alternative schools is currently undecided,'” the Saitama Shimbun reported, noting that some schools were excluded from the program.

The media outlet added, “The education committee, which has been notified by the Sports Ministry to investigate the desired schools, will receive applications from each school and report them collectively. However, all of the foreign schools with elementary school-aged children said they had not been told.”

A representative from one of the foreign schools in Saitama Prefecture said, “Some of the children have never played baseball before, and it is inevitable that they will be treated differently than Japanese students. However, if they can receive a glove from a world-class star, I think it will be an opportunity for them to learn about baseball and the world.”

A representative from the Saitama Shipbuilding School said, “I don’t plan to ask for a gift,” but added, “But if it is excluded from the plan, I would like to know why.” Another said, “I don’t think the kids are expecting the gloves yet. But since Ohtani is such a famous player, he’s a hot topic, and I’m worried that the students will hear about it soon.” The Saitama Shimbun noted, “The shipbuilding school was also excluded from the distribution of masks to combat COVID-19 in 2020, but they were distributed late.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *