Fri, Aug 18, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Sports hero takes media to task over intrusive reports

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民) yesterday issued an open letter announcing that he will no longer accept any interviews with Taiwanese media.

Wang said that he was disappointed by the way that the furor created by the Taiwanese press had affected his family's privacy.

"I am very disappointed about the way the Taiwanese print and television media has recently handled personal issues about my background. The invasion of my entire family's privacy has caused tremendous stress and discomfort," the letter read.

Wang was referring to the behavior of the Taiwanese media following an interview with the New York Times, which was published on Aug. 13.

During the interview, Wang revealed that he had been adopted. In the following days, Taiwanese media went into overdrive covering Wang's family, with dozens of TV and print reporters descending on Wang's hometown of Tainan and stalking his family members for interviews, which enraged Wang.

"Due to the stress suffered by my family in Taiwan, I have made the difficult decision of refusing to accept any more interviews by members of the Taiwanese media, until further notice," the letter said, which was published on the front page of the Chinese-language United Evening News yesterday.

The letter was issued by Wang's agent, Alan Chang (張嘉元), yesterday from the US, and it was written in English.

Chang said that Wang is a mild person, and his decision was made to protect his family. He said the Yankees were supporting Wang's decision and would offer all possible assistance necessary.

According to the New York Times story, Wang said that he found out that his biological father was in fact a man he knew as his uncle. Wang's parents had no children of their own, and offered to raise him. They later had a daughter, who is two years younger.

"I didn't feel anything in particular," he said.

"I felt it was all right, like I had two fathers," Wang was quoted as saying in the New York Times interview.

Wang had not suspected the revelation about his personal life would generate so much activity in the Taiwanese media.

"I hope going forward, you will focus your coverage on my performance on the field. Please stop harassing my family members about this private issue," Wang said in the letter.

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