Yao Ming penned the following letter in response to widespread criticism concerning the amount of his donation to the Sichuan earthquake victims.
Dear Self-Righteous, Hypocritical Fans,
I wish my parents had been midgets. I mean, it’s nice having all this cash and balling for a living and all. But the superstardom? If I could, I’d donate 100 percent of it, to be divided equally among all you star-worshipping nerds.
Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? Well, pull up a plate and dig in to the irony pie; there’s heaps for everyone. How about the fact that I single-handedly gave Chinese men everywhere a reason to hold their heads up when sports are discussed, but they have the gall to take me to task on the size of my charity donations? Yeah, I know Liu Xiang gave us a lot of face too, but how tall is he again? Hey, why don’t you go pester him to give til it hurts? My agent can’t even get me a Chinese cigarette endorsement, for the love of Laozi; Liu Xiang’s people have every product from kuai di delivery to jock-itch cream tied up until after the Shanghai Expo.
Or better yet, instead of picking on someone else, how about making like the King of Pop and starting with the man in the mirror? Oh yeah – what percent of your income are youdonating to the earthquake victims, dear reader? Sorry, can’t hear you over the crickets!
Oh, I get it. I have so much, and you have so little, even with your computers you use to bad mouth me with. That stops you from giving up a meaningful chunk of your money, but it doesn’t stop you from assuming you know how much is appropriate for me to give, right? That’s some logic – I’m bigger than any lao wai; you’re not. I struggled and sacrificed to be great at something; you didn’t. But because you admire me for all that, I’m morally and financially accountable to you? Really?
This is why us Chinese who can do so move to other countries and stay there, driving jokes and all. Bring up the good of China, and reason flies right out the window. Hey, why didn’t you guys bust my basketballs over the blizzard last winter? Hold on; we’re all Asian, right? How much should I give to Myanmar? Wait, wait, we’re all human; how much should I be donating to Darfur? Tell you what, send me the stubs from your charity checks, all-compassionate fans of mine, and I’ll match them. How’s that? I can see the headlines now – “Yao Ming duped out of 300 million RMB in biggest check forging scam in history”.
Yeah, I’m Chinese. I haven’t forgotten. I still remember my fellow Shanghainese laughing and pointing at the 1.7 meter third grader. I still remember all those away games with the home crowd chanting “chopstick arms”. I was treated like a freak, then a useful freak, and the fact that I was Chinese like you never stopped you from pointing and staring. I have more in common with that giant from the Ukraine, Leonid Stadnyk, than any of you judgmental shrimps. Tell Bao Xishun to expect a check in the mail, too. He knows my pain.
As for you height and reason –challenged critics, I pay my taxes, and I give plenty back, in money and time. If you think being my fan gives you a right to impose arbitrary levies at your discretion, by all means find someone else to project your inadequacies and frustrated wish-fulfillment on. Last time I was in China, I saw way more McGrady jerseys than Mings, for that matter.
Ha ha – I’ve got it. Lu Hao, call a press meeting. I’ve got a special announcement. I’m donating a month’s salary to Sichuan. But unless everyone in China making more than100,000 RMB a year donates one month’s salary too, than it’s gonna be Wang Zhi Zhi starting center at the Olympics. I’ll be in Sichuan, handing supplies up to second story windows, in buildings with no more stairs or elevators. Hey – all those helpless lives are more important than a gold medal, aren’t they?
What’s that? You’re willing to forgive and forget? Aw, thanks, fans! I’ll sleep better knowing you’re prepared to restrain yourselves for the good of China. I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here, today. Something about not biting the hand that dunks for you.