Last night, Japan played valiantly against Paraguay. The game was 0-0 after extra time causing the victor to be settled by penalty kicks. Paraguay make all its shots. Japan, however, did not.
The player who missed his shot was defender Yuichi Komano. He was the third player to shoot on the Japanese side, and his kick was too high, hitting the goal post.
So what did the Japanese media decide to do? Just as the sting of the loss is still fresh, interview Komano's mother in his hometown.
Here is his mother apologising on television. The network is Japan's TBS, which has run questionable segments in the past.
Why does his mother have to apologise? Komano wasn't the only player who missed an opportunity to score a goal during the game. If the team would have scored a goal, it never would have been put in this situation. Komano's miss was the most visible and, sadly, the most memorable. But singling him out and putting his mother (his mother!) on the spot is cruel.
"This is deplorable," tweeted Square Enix exec Yoichi Wada. "Deplorable. How ungrateful." The Japanese mass media should be more respectful of things like this. Interview Komano. His teammates. His coach. But his mom?
It wasn't Komano who lost the game. It was Japan. And the team played a helluva game of which every single member should be proud. Komano, included.