Jakarta. Danish shuttler Mathias Boe is trying to close a particularly unpleasant chapter in his career after he became the target of threats and intimidation by Indonesian badminton fans on social media last weekend.
Boe and men's doubles partner Carsten Mogensen faced Indonesian pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the semifinal of the 2017 Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Saturday (17/06).
The Danish pair won the match, which was marked by spectators booing and shouting abuse at them. Boe went on to celebrate the victory by dancing in front of the disappointed home crowd. This resulted in the Dane later receiving hundreds of death threats from Indonesian badminton fans on his social media accounts.
A video of Boe expressing concern over the death threats subsequently went viral on social media, with many Indonesians sympathizing with him.
"On my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, I've received threats to my life," Boe said during a press conference after losing to Chinese pair Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen in Sunday's final.
Boe's words were met by laughter from journalists attending the press conference. He responded by saying: "And see, you're also sitting and laughing."
"If you threaten somebody's life in the rest of the world, you could go to jail, while here, it is a joke," he added.
"To say 'I want to blow you up with a suicide bomb' might be a joke to you, but it is not in other parts of the world and you could actually go to jail if you said that.
"I received shouts like 'go home Denmark, go home.'
"I can still handle people who disrespect me and my country as it's part of the game, but to threaten your life is not funny and if you think that's funny, you should get a proper education from your parents or whoever you talk to."
Boe posted a statement on his Instagram account a day later explaining that his victory dance in the semifinal was not intended to mock Indonesians and that it has been his way of celebrating for several years. He went on to call for an end to the saga.
I have closed for comments on my other picture. This case has drawn attention from media in Europe, maybe therefore people who have no interest in badminton see this as an opportunity to make stupid comments about race etc., I'm not related to any of them. Let me make one thing crystal clear, I didn't dance to mock Indonesia people, I have celebrated that way for many years, dabbing, gangnam style etc., I show emotions when I win. I get along very well with the Indonesian players, even see, Taufik, Hendra Setiawan, Ahsan, Hendra Gunawan, Markis Kido as my friends, who I have completed with for many years. Let's bury the hatched, n let us work together on making our sport even greater. ❤️