Indonesian Coach Catches Flak & Apologises For Referring To Pearly-Thinaah As “Black & White”

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After being caught on video alluding to Malaysia’s national badminton women’s doubles team as “black and white,” Indonesian coach Eng Hian has apologised to Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah.

He claimed that he didn’t mean for his utterance to insult the pair.

“I apologise to M. Thinaah and Pearly Tan. I didn’t mean to disrespect the Malaysian players. Once again, I apologise for my words from the bottom of my heart,“ he said in a video that was uploaded to the Rubber Game Indonesia Twitter account Friday night.

In a follow-up tweet under the same Twitter thread, Rubber Game Indonesia also made a public statement addressing the matter.

“We need to look at this issue from multiple perspectives. Malaysia is a country that has a long history when it comes to the topic of race, and even today it is still struggling with identity politics. That’s why, even in the absence of explicitly racist intentions, this apology is crucial,” they wrote.

The 45-year-old coach was heard referring to Pearly-Thinaah as “putih” (white) and “hitam” (black) while delivering instructions to his players Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma-Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi during a match break.

source: Rubber Game

The comment was first heard on television during the French Open’s round of 16 last Thursday (27 October) and quickly gained notoriety on social media, with many urging the public not to normalise the act of referring to someone’s physical attributes in situations where one’s appearance is not relevant.