Professor rekindles feud with Kim Yu-na
Professor Hwang Sang-min went back on the offensive against Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na saying, “Kim is putting on another show by saying that she will drop the charges, if I make a public apology.”
Hwang used the same word that got him into trouble with Kim in the first place when he referred to her teaching practice as nothing but “a show” and that it lacked sincerity.
The Yonsei psychology professor said on a Channel A television program on Monday that he sent Kim a signed copy of his book as a token of apology but she refused to accept it, questioning his sincerity. For that, the 50-year-old scholar criticized Kim for “looking down upon others.”
During the program, Hwang commented on the recent controversy, saying his calling Kim’s teaching practice a show on a CBS radio show drew attention and his true intention was overly misinterpreted.
“Colleges only provide celebrities and sports stars with opportunities to study but the schools don’t actually educate them,” Hwang said.
The Ivy League-educated professor’s remarks soon rekindled the debate concerning the legitimacy of the privileges celebrities enjoy in terms of getting degrees while often having to put in far less effort compared to other students, adding fuel to the fire.
While many slammed Hwang for “making insulting comments on Korea’s figure skating heroine who enhanced the nation’s prestige,” others defended his position saying, “He made some legitimate points concerning the issue, although the tone was somewhat aggressive.”
Shortly after the professor questioned the intent behind Kim’s teaching practice, the 21-year-old filed a defamation law suit against him on May 30, a move the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office has confirmed.
Kim’s agency, All That Sports, said it would drop the charges at any time if Hwang makes a sincere public apology. Hwang appeared on YTN radio show claiming he had apologized to Kim. He has also said he will drop out of a radio program he regularly participates in as a further token of apology.
In case the two sides fail to reach a reconciliation, the feud concerning the favoritism for athletes in colleges is expected to grow, as the lawsuit proceeds.