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Former Hyundai E&C volleyball team player Go Yoo-min/Photo courtesy of Korean Volleyball Federation

Mystery of Go Yoo-min’s death

Late last month, former volleyball player Go Yoo-min was found dead in her house in Gwangju, some 30 kilometers southeast of Seoul. As police found no signs of foul plays and there was a suicide note, she appears to have killed herself.

The question is what drove the former Hyundai E&C player to the sad death. Initially, the country’s media outlets pointed their fingers at cyberbullying as she reportedly suffered greatly from harsh online comments.

Some web users wrote malicious and offensive comments about the performance of the 25-year-old, who played for Hyundai E&C as a backup in the 2019-2020 season. She left the team in March for some reason.

On the belief that her death was due to the malicious internet comments, the country’s top news portals decided to introduce a policy of closing comment sections all together for sports news.

By contrast, her family has claimed that Hyundai E&C is responsible for the tragedy _ her mother held a one-person protest, and her younger sister came up with a petition at the Internet site of the presidential house.

On August 20, their lawyer hosted a press conference at the National Assembly to argue that Hyundai E&C coaches intentionally left out her in the cold and abused their power to cause the death.

The lawyer said that stressed-out Go was unable to sleep without sleeping pills.

Go’s family also contended that Hyundai E&C did not pay her salary for months and did not properly terminate its contract with Go this year, which they say made Go’s move to other teams impossible.

In response, Hyundai E&C came up with a statement to deny the allegations.

Go played in 25 games out of 27 during the 2019-2020 season. In the previous season, she played in 24 games out of 30. It is not true that she was excluded from matches and training,” Hyundai E&C said.

The Seoul-based builder also contended that the contract with Go was ended based on mutual agreements.

Internet users seem to side with Go’s surviving family as many criticize Hyundai E&C. In addition, lawmakers took part in the press conference at the National Assembly to show their supports for Go.

Included in the members is Rep. Song Young-gil from the governing Democratic Party.

Go made her professional debut in 2013 at Hyundai E&C and played seven years for the team.

Affiliated with Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai E&C is the country’s largest contractor.