SCMP reports that Chinese Communist Party has called out top athletes for their recent brash behavior with media and their coaches. The criticisms came from the People’s Daily who asked “Who can restrain this terrible capriciousness?”
Tennis star Li Na is perhaps China’s most notorious “terribly capricious” athlete, and has garnered much negative attention from the CCP. The Time magazine cover star made it certain last year that she was playing for herself and not for her country. In this year’s French Open, Li provided little more than angry comments to reporters who questioned her on her loss. After her exit from Wimbledon on July 3, however, she gave more neutral comments, perhaps to avoid further antagonism from her country’s government.
The piece from the People’s Daily has triggered a fiery debate about how much China’s national athletes owe to their country and if they should follow any specific codes of behavior.
Most are arguing the negative, feeling that the performances and appearances of these athletes should no longer be intertwined with the nationalist agenda of the CCP. Yunan Information Daily asked “Why do the media and a part of the public still stick to holding up the “national” flag” while Southern Metropilis Daily similarly chimed that they “should not be burdened by expectations by ‘the nation’ or ‘the people’”
It’s not exactly clear what the CCP is expecting of athletes like Li Na. Should they be praising the Chinese Dream for every success they achieve? Or should they be expected to live and act a normal human being who occasionally succumbs to their emotions?
Also, if the Communist Party’s priorities are skewed enough to take sports so seriously, one would expect them to get their act together with the nation’s ridiculously disappointing football team before dealing with the likes of Li Na.
[Image credit: mirsasha]