Kacie on K-pop: K-pop idols like sports, so I do too – Daily Trojan


    I don’t like sports. My apologies to my sports bro friends who might be reading this article, but I really don’t — maybe it’s my lack of knowledge or my lack of care, but I don’t really enjoy watching people sweat as they run up and down courts or fields, and I’ve never understood the rules of most popular sports on TV. 

    But, as is obviously a trend with many things in my life, when the K-pop world began to intersect with that of the sports industry, I suddenly became intrigued. 

    While I didn’t know beforehand that the Golden State Warriors would be in Japan this week to play two preseason games against the Washington Wizards, I definitely did on Monday — when BTS member Suga posted a photo posing with a custom Warriors jersey on Twitter that has since gained over 400,000 retweets and 1.4 million likes. 

    On Thursday, Stephen Curry posted photos from their meeting at the Warriors’ practice — photos I’ve seen all over my own Twitter feed and that more than one of my sports fanatic friends sent to me. 

    Apparently — shocker! — K-pop idols like sports. With K-pop fans stereotypically being very invested in the hobbies and interests of their idols, whether it’s their favorite sports, their music recommendations or their pets, the virality of K-pop idols’ interactions with the sports world really isn’t something that shocking. 

    It seems like almost every time an idol is spotted at a sports game (or even just mentions something sports-related), tweets and photos of the idols watching and cheering circulate quickly among their fans. In fact, I still remember seeing BTS for the first time at the (now) Crypto.com Arena in 2018, and Suga joking in his ending ment that Kobe Bryant was in attendance at the concert. Suga was also spotted at a Los Angeles Dodgers game in 2019, and NCT’s Taeyong, Mark and Johnny led a t-shirt toss at an L.A. Clippers game later that year. NCT’s Chenle and Mark were even spotted in the Warriors’ “Dub Hub,” a virtual game viewing experience that live streamed videos of viewers onto Chase Center’s video screens. 

    It’s not uncommon for K-pop idols to appear publicly at sports games — NCT 127 and ENHYPEN both threw first pitches at L.A. Dodgers games in 2019 and 2022, respectively, and P1Harmony’s Keeho sang the Korean national anthem at a Major League Soccer match between LAFC and the Seattle Sounders last year. 

    Perhaps the most shocking example of the intersection of the K-pop and sports worlds is that of GOT7’s BamBam and Warriors player Andrew Wiggins. Last January, BamBam, who also serves as a global ambassador of the Warriors, tweeted a voting endorsement for Wiggins to be selected as a starter in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. The tweet, which garnered over 40,000 retweets and almost 71,000 likes, caused a severe spike in votes that resulted in Wiggins’ unexpected selection. 

    It’s interesting to note the level of engagement that these interactions receive from both K-pop and sports fans alike. While I have little to no interest in sports, I always get a weird boost of serotonin whenever I see pictures or videos of my favorite idols interacting with athletes. Perhaps it’s because I get really happy seeing my idols enjoying their hobbies and getting to meet people they admire and follow personally, but it could also be

    because I love the exposure these meetings bring to an extremely different demographic of people. 

    Although, let’s be honest — K-pop fans and sports fans really aren’t that different, with both demographics competing for close seats at events, buying their favorite artists’ or teams’ merchandise and forming communities with other fans. While unexpected, the connection between K-pop and sports is one that I think actually makes a lot of sense. 

    In fact, it’s not that this exposure isn’t reciprocated — K-pop fans around the world are learning about and beginning to care about the athletes and teams that their favorite idols like, for no reason other than that their idol is a fan too. 

    So, while I wouldn’t call myself a sports fan just yet, maybe I’m considering learning a little bit more about it. And to all my sports bros reading this, maybe it’s time for you to learn the names of the members of BTS too.

    Kacie Yamamoto is a senior writing about Korean pop music. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Daily Trojan. Her column “Kacie on K-pop” runs every other Friday.

    The post Kacie on K-pop: K-pop idols like sports, so I do too – Daily Trojan appeared first on Eatory.my.id.

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