Twin Volleyball Stars Sacked for Bullying

  • By Yang Ji-hea, Kim Sang-yun

    February 16, 2021 13:14

    Twin volleyball stars Lee Jae-yeong and Da-yeong were dropped by the Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders over allegations of past school bullying that surfaced recently.

    The twin sisters were accused of violence last week by a woman claiming to be a former middle-school teammate. The accuser listed some 21 allegations including habitual physical assault, threatening with a knife and stealing money, saying "I tried to forget it because it happened 10 years ago, but the twins seem to be ignoring their past."

    The twins quickly admitted "irresponsible behavior in the past" and apologized to the victim, but were unable to stop the avalanche of public anger and disappointment.

    Lee Jae-yeong (left) and Lee Da-yeong of the Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders pose with trophies for favorite players based on an online fan vote in Seoul on Jan. 26.

    A petition was posted on the Cheong Wa Dae website urging the twins to leave Korean volleyball and the club to take disciplinary action.

    The club stalled at first citing concerns for the twins' mental and physical stability but suspended them indefinitely on Monday amid the growing outcry. The Korea Volleyball Association also disqualified them from the national team on the same day.

    But pundits warn that unsubstantiated allegations can also be dangerous. "If a perpetrator becomes a star who is often seen in the media, the stress takes a greater toll on the victim," Prof. Yoon Hyun at Yongin University said. "But trial by social media can quickly get out of hand."

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