Japan’s very own American football scandal – 英会話・英語 アミック
It’s surprising to me that one of the top news stories in Japan has been a controversy surrounding American football. I knew that Japan had a small collegiate football scene and also a professional league, but did not expect the sport to garner the level of attention it has the past week, especially considering the World Cup is three weeks away and Shohei Ohtani continues to dazzle Major League Baseball.
The incident, in which a Nihon University player delivered an egregious tackle on Kwansei Gakuiin University’s quarterback that left him hospitalized, was jarring to watch and goes far beyond what would be considered a ‘normal’ late hit in gridiron football.
Even though the sport may have a gladiatorial reputation, a hit like the one Taisuke Miyagawa delivered would have resulted in immediate ejection if it were to occur in America. The player would also likely face other sanctions, including suspension from upcoming games and if it happened in the NFL, a harsh fine. Most surprising to me about the video is that even though the incident occurred right in front of Kwansei Gakuiin’s sideline, their players, coaches, and fans seemed largely unphased.
While the controversy is appearing to sort itself out, with the coach (that allegedly ordered the hit) resigning and Miyagawa saying he is done playing for good, I just hope it doesn’t blacken the game’s reputation in Japan and that the next time the sport is headline news here, it’s for positive reasons (perhaps ahead of Japan’s national American football team going for a fifth consecutive medal at at next year’s IFAF World Championships).