The Japanese living in America’s west coast all thought it must be a dream: the words, banned from TV and thus not expected to be seen, were shown clear as day on their TV screens at the Mariners-Padres game on June 26.
In the 9th inning, an incident occurred during the live TV broadcast. An American fan held up a placard in Japanese with a terrible message:
“Ichiro has a small dick!” (イチローには小さいチ●ポがついています — of course there is a certain katakana letter that should go where the circle is)
The shocking scene lasted for about 3 seconds. There are occasionally fans who hold up Japanese-language signs, but almost no one on the broadcast staff in America can read Japanese. Thankfully this did not make it onto Japanese television, but the station was the victim of a cruel practical joke.
It was not a good day for Ichiro. He did not start. This is the first time in the season he has been of the starting lineup and would have been his 74th straight game. Mariners manager Hargrove explained, “It was my decision. Since there’s no game tomorrow he gets 2 days off by not playing today.” He had urged Ichiro to rest many times, but the answer was always no. After discussing for 20 minutes Hargrove made Ichiro rest by “forcible execution.”
Even his one at bat ended midway. “Players who are always in the starting lineup have a different method of getting worked up,” said a quiet Ichiro. Adding insult to injury was the unexpectedly offensive placard.
Comment: I can’t find a picture of the actual placard, but I’m sure you can imagine.
Some comments from 2ch:
I’m sure it was a Korean-American fan!