Disgraced Baseballer Kang Jung-ho Apologizes for Wayward Past

  • By Song Won-hyung

    June 24, 2020 10:54

    Kang Jung-ho takes a reporter's questions at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday.

    Former Pittsburgh Pirates player Kang Jung-ho apologized for his past wrongdoings at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday.

    "I have been sober for four years and will never drink again. If the club [the Kiwoom Heroes] accepts me, I will donate my entire first-year salary to victims of drunk driving. I will consistently take part in campaigns against drunk driving and help young baseball players until I retire," he said.

    Kang returned home from the U.S. in early June but had to self-isolate for two weeks due to the coronavirus before offering his official apologies.

    He was caught driving under the influence in Seoul in December 2016, and during a police investigation his two prior DUI convictions in 2009 and 2011 belatedly became known. As a result he was given a two-year suspended sentence in May 2017.

    After he was released from the Major League team last year, he sought a return to the Korean baseball league this year. On May 24, the Korea Baseball Organization ordered him to serve a one-year suspension and perform 300 hours of community service before he can resume his career here.

    "When I was first fined for drunk driving, I didn't tell the team, thinking that the incident should not be known to the public, and again I made a huge mistake of leaving the scene when I caused an accident [under the influence] in 2016," he said. "I sincerely apologize to fans, who are disappointed with me. I felt guilty while staying in the U.S., as I had yet to apologize."

    "I was stupid to think that it would be okay if I performed well. I am so ashamed of myself when I look back on my past. I will be a responsible man and live a good and honest life," he said. "I know I don't deserve to play baseball in Korea. But I've decided to return because I wanted to show that I have changed."

    But it remains to be seen whether or not he will be warmly welcomed by fans.

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