The Malaysia Open 2022 saw plenty of badminton players flocking to Malaysia to compete. This included Japanese shuttler Kento Momota (桃田 賢斗). Although he had a tough time with some persistent fans, Kento enjoyed himself in Malaysia too.
In addition to sampling some local durian, Kento apparently took the opportunity to go clubbing in Malaysia. However, fans were concerned what this would do to his image. Especially after the footage of him with local streamer Lek Gor (叻哥) went viral. Unfortunately, many have been blaming Lek Gor for his “bad influence”.
The internet personality has always been an avid fan of the sport and its players. However, fans of Momota feel that he shouldn’t be interacting with the streamer. In fact, some alleged Lek Gor was the reason why Kento ended up in a club in the first place!
Photos of Kento at a bar with Lek Gor and a female netizen went viral on the internet last week. Some simply assumed it was a happenstance meet-up. But, others claimed Lek Gor had been the one to bring Kento to a club. However, the photos caused an outcry against Lek Gor with netizens telling him to say away from Kento.
As it turns out, one of those protesting claimed to be part of the social media staff of the Badminton World Federation socials. The person claimed that while some fans love and bring life to the sport, there are some who do not. “They do not love the sport because what they do, they do it for themselves,” they wrote and added a photo of keropok lekor, clearly hinting at Lek Gor.
The general consensus was that Lek Gor was using Kento for clout. Additionally, Lek Gor could also have gotten Kento in trouble with the Japanese Badminton Association. As one netizen pointed out, visiting a club during an official tournament wasn’t professional. “For Japan, this (could be) a big and important issue, especially (since it’s about his) discipline,” another said.
Well, Lek Gor has supposedly removed the footage from his socials. However, currently, he has not responded publicly to the issue. There has also not been any news of Japanese authorities disciplining Kento. Hopefully everything is alright with them now!