A bullying scandal has hit a South Korea national women’s volleyball team and it is getting messy.
It all began on February 10th when a group of netizens stepped forward and accused twin volleyball players Lee Da Young and Lee Jae Young of bullying. The accusers wrote that they were verbally and physically bullied by the twins back in their middle school days. According to the accusers, the two volleyball players frequently stole their money and forced them to do things against their wishes. Shortly after the allegations went public, the twins both came forward and admitted to the bullying. While they both apologized for their actions on their Instagram pages, it wasn’t before long that netizens turned their backs on the formerly loved “goddess” twin players.
Previously, Lee Da Young and Lee Jae Young both made headlines for their stunning visuals, earning them the nickname “goddess volleyball players” by netizens. They quickly became internet sensations after appearing on numerous variety programs for their good looks and quirky personalities. Due to this controversy, however, they are being removed and deleted from their previous show appearances. You Quiz on the Block made headlines just today for removing the twins’ video on their website that highlighted their appearance on the show.
This entire controversy was only made worse when a previous situation was brought back into the spotlight. One of South Korea’s most well respected women’s national volleyball player, Kim Yeon Koung had found herself tangled in the scandal. Kim Yeon Koung may look familiar due to her numerous variety show appearances, as well as her high ranking in the women’s volleyball world. She broke records at the 2012 London Olympics and is considered one of the best women’s volleyball players in the world. She has created a big name for herself through her talent, as well as her fun television personality.
Well before the twins were accused of their middle school bullying, one of them previously made their own bullying allegations. Kim Yeon Koung found herself in the the middle of this messy situation after one of the twins, Lee Da Young accused her of bullying. This shocked the entire nation since the two players are teammates on the Heungkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders.
Lee Da Young took to her Instagram page numerous times targeting Kim Yeon Koung with these bullying accusations. With cryptic messages, Lee Da Young uploaded photos with her allegations. Volleyball fans quickly noticed the tension between the two during their matches after these Instagram uploads. According to fans, there were several noticeable times when Lee Da Young, who is a setter did not pass the ball to Kim Yeon Koung, who is a hitter. During this time, many were quick to side with Lee Da Young, defending her poor choices on the court while pointing their fingers at Kim Yeon Koung.
It’ll explode, right? It’ll explode soon. I am going to reveal it all.
Up until this point, the twins had the support of the nation. They had always been loved by netizens and it was no different for this situation. Kim Yeon Koung hadn’t given a statement about the controversy, which made it easier for Korean netizens to side with Lee Da Young and her sister. It was after Lee Da Young uploaded this post below, however, that her and her sister’s bullying victims decided that they could not let this go on for any longer. This photo was their tipping point and it was when they decided to speak up about their horrible childhood bullying experiences.
The person doing the bullying might be having fun, but the people getting bullied want to die.
The bullying victims took to an online community to share their disgust with Lee Da Young and her alleged bullying experience with Kim Yeon Koung. This is what they had to say.
Do you remember when you guys bullied us in middle school? What about then? Do you think you can now understand what it feels like to be bullied? But what, ‘the person doing the bullying might be having fun, but the people getting bullied want to die.’ Now do you understand? I still have trauma from when you would make me do extreme things. Why do I live with such trauma? It’s because of you guys. You guys did whatever you wanted in middle school and so it was easy, right? But for us, because of your guys’ selfish hearts and desires, our everyday lives became wary. We would think ‘I wonder how we’ll get in trouble today’ or ‘I wonder where they’ll hit us today.’
— Bullying victim’s words/theqoo
But what? The stuff you wrote on your social media, is that not a diss towards yourself? It’s exactly your story haha but you say it was hard because of extreme choices. Why? Because of what? Was it as hard as us? Do you remember the time you hit our mouths because we didn’t say ‘hwaiting’ and my glasses went flying? Do you? Do you know what thoughts I had back then? I wanted to jump off my dorm’s rooftop at the time. I wanted to kill myself in front of you guys so that you both would feel guilty in some way.
— Bullying victim’s words/theqoo
After I graduated, I studied my a** off so that I would be successful in life. I gritted my teeth and studied hard. I did it to exact my revenge on you guys one day. The nice salary you guys receive? I don’t envy any of it. Even if you guys retire and become leaders and commentators, I don’t envy it. It’s because my job is so much greater than yours. It’s something that will feed me and pay me for the rest of my life. Now do you understand? Do you understand the terrible feeling that we must have received when you did bad things to us? I hope that you’ll remember it well…
— Bullying victim’s words/theqoo
After this went viral on Korean online communities, The Heunkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders officially stepped forward to address the situation regarding the twin volleyball players. They confirmed that both Lee Da Young and Lee Jae Young admitted to all the bullying accusations and will be apologizing to the victims in person.
Since the accusations made against Kim Yeon Koung seemed to hold no truth, netizens are applauding her for her professionalism. Through it all, she never once spoke up about it nor did she ever say anything with malice towards her team member. When asked about the rumors during an interview, she did address the situation, but again without any bad intent towards Lee Da Young. She kept quiet about the situation, until recently. The volleyball player took to her own Instagram page with one brief, but knock out inducing photo.
According to numerous media outlets, the twins have apparently left their training center and dormitories. While the National Volleyball Association has yet to comment on their disciplinary action, this is creating further speculations that the two may have either been suspended or ejected from their team.