Japanese Football Player Quits Sport, Says Coach Called for Controversial Dirty Hit

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Nihon University’s Taisuke Miyagawa tackled Kwansei Gakuin quarterback Kousei Okuno in a late hit in a May 6 game.

A Japanese university football player has quit the sport after a late hit on an opposing player generated controversy, according to The Japan Times. 

Nihon University’s Taisuke Miyagawa tackled Kwansei Gakuin quarterback Kousei Okuno in a late hit in a May 6 game. Okuno suffered a lower back injury. 

As the story has become huge in Japan, Miyagawa spoke publicly about the incident for the first time in front of a large media crowd. Miyagawa read a prepared statement, saying he felt pressured to injure the quarterback. According to The Japan Times, Miyagawa had almsot lost his place on the team, and assistant coach Tsutomu Inoue, who had an order from head coach Masato Uchida, told him he could get it back by injuring Okuno.

According to The Japan Times, Uchida visited Okuno and has since resigned from his position as head coach. Miyagawa also visited Okuno and said in his statement, he will not continue to play.

“I don’t think I have a right to continue to play American football,” he said. “Going forward, I have no intention to keep playing American football.”

Okuno’s family has filed a criminal complaint over the matter as well.

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