Hot Debate: “People’s Daily is Unworthy of Teaching Li Na How to Behave”
On July 2, Li Na, the female tennis athlete from China,
lost to Agnieszka Radwańska, the famous Polish tennis player,
and was stopped at Wimbledon 2013
women’s singles quarter-finals.
Previously, Li was asked by a Chinese reporter whether
she bears the burden of the entire country to win.
Li challenged, “Why do I need bear the whole
Following this, People’s Daily published an article
to “warn” Li.
But other media criticized People’s Daily as unworthy
of teaching Li Na how to speak human language.
Currently, netizens continue to discuss online.
Li Na was stopped in her tracks during the
quarterfinal round of Wimbledon.
On June 27, after Li entered the third round,
following her win over a Romanian player,
she was asked by a Chinese reporter whether
she felt a pressure from China to win Wimbledon.
Li answered, ”Why should I bear the burden of a country?
I’m just a tennis athlete, a tennis player.
I try my best to compete in the game.
This is my job.”
The forthright words of Li were criticized by the
Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) mouthpiece.
The People’s Daily published commentary on July 1,
which said Li Na has a kind of unbridled willfulness.
The article also questioned who would restrict
the terrible willfulness of athletes.
Chen Kai, former Chinese national basketball player:
“You can see this is a bizarre phenomenon created
by China’s slavery culture.
Meanwhile, each individual bears the burden
of this responsibility.
Most Chinese don’t like Li Na, who has a strong
In the past ten plus years, Li Na has satirized her coach
and criticized China Tennis Management Center several times.
In 2002, Li had retired and said, “What’s the reason that
those leaders and coaches hope I have a good score?
Do they just want to be promoted or to be given
a house from the government?”
In 2005, after the National Games she criticized,
“Many mechanisms in the National Team aren’t good.”
In 2012, she said before Australian Open final,
“Don’t say I’m playing for the country. I do it for myself.”
Ju Bin, a Canadian basketball coach who is a former Chinese
professional basketball player, pointed out that
in a system where the CCP controls everything, athletes are
restricted on a “national honor” high moral platform.
It’s hard for them to tell the truth.
Naturally, people like Li Na, who are so outspoken,
are the target of the CCP media which “doesn’t allow people speak the truth.”
Ju Bin, Canadian basketball coach: “Among Chinese athletes,
barely does anybody dare to express their own opinion.
Li Na plays Grand Slams and other round
robin tournaments around the world,
she is in direct contact with western
athletes and found that
the CCP system is totally different from others and
foreign athletes have a different meaning of life.”
Recently, many Chinese print media and online media
reproduced an article entitled, “People’s Daily is Unworthy of Teaching Li Na How to Behave.”
This article said that People’s Daily used paternalistic
criticism which is the old style of thinking.
Whether an athlete was praised or criticized by People’s
Daily isn’t based on their contribution in an athletic field,
but up to whether they have good behavior or not
in this national system.
As long as you can add luster to this national system,
it will try its best to praise you.
Once you challenge the national system a little bit,
you will encounter a variety of criticism.
However, as the best Chinese female tennis player,
Li Na has a significant number of fans.
Her fans, like her, have outspoken and forthright
So netizens challenged the CCP mouthpiece’s criticism of Li.
Li Chengpeng, former sports director of
Chengdu Business Daily said in his microblog,
“The national leaders don’t dare to say that
they can bear the burden of a country.
Why does it ask an athlete to bear it? It likes to kidnap.”
Netizen Ji Tiantian commented in her microblog,
“People’s Daily has been simmering for a long time
because since Li Na took up her professional career,
she repeatedly said she was raised by parents and coaches (rather than the party).
A netizen said, “How dare they warning Li Na like this,
China National Football Team should be beaten to death.”
Another netizen said, ”I really can’t understand how in a
country that couldn’t solve the problem of milk powder safety,
why leaders like to fool themselves to show
they are good?”
Yuan Yulai, a lawyer from Ningbo City Zhejiang province,
also said via microblog, “I think whether Li Na can win the game is her own business.
At most, it’s the business of sports.
Her forthright words encourage more people
to realize the civic awareness.”