Amamaniac

Are Abi's days numbered?

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Posted (edited)

Since Abi's latest transgression is not technically an ongoing honbasho topic, I thought it deserves its own thread.

According to Akinomaki, the Rijikai will hold a special meeting after the tournament, on August 6 to deal with the whole Abi issue.

Here are some of the issues: 

1) Abi has several strikes against him already: the SNS scandal and the stupidly telling the press that he fell asleep in the special seminar held to guide wrestlers in their social media activities.

2) Abi blatantly transgressed the special Corona Guidelines just introduced by the NSK as an PR effort to show that they were taking the pandemic very seriously.  And if Abi lied about how many times and with whom he went out, he won't be viewed sympathetically.

3) Abi's last-minute withdrawal on day 7 (not entirely Abi's fault) made a lot of people (many of whom are on the Rijikai) upset.

4) I suspect Shikoroyama Oyakata's dramatic response (i.e., pulling Abi out of the competition, refusing to let him back in the ring despite a negative PCR result, harshly chastising Abi, and apologising to all) was a desperate effort to save Abi's career.

While this is quite different than the Takanofuji violence incidents, Abi has now shown himself to be a repeat offender.  And given the serious nature of the global pandemic, the NSK as a public organisation may have no option but to make an example out of the otherwise charismatic and popular Top Division wrestler.

I am seriously worried that this could mark the end of Abi's career!

 

Edited by Amamaniac

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Posted (edited)

Better check his purse for some weed.

Edited by Jakusotsu
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One basho suspension and/or final warning.

Oyakata receiving a salary cut for x months due to lack of guidance.

My personal guess.

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This kind of thing makes me uneasy. While Abi should certainly have known better than to go out at this particular time, the other stuff is frankly nannying a grown man. People worrying about Abi making sumo look bad should think about how sumo looks to potential recruits when they see that even being married and living offsite you aren’t free to run your own life. The Kyokai should indeed hold him responsible for his corona-related indiscretions because it’s bigger than sumo itself, but all that social media stuff is overreach in my opinion. Sumo needs to give its rikishi some breathing space.

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I put this on a level with the unauthorized driving, betting on baseball and so on for which one basho suspensions were given. Expulsion would be a huge overreaction. 

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14 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

I put this on a level with the unauthorized driving, betting on baseball and so on for which one basho suspensions were given. Expulsion would be a huge overreaction. 

Osuunarashi was expelled for driving (albeit he caused an accident and didn’t have a license) and Kotomitsuki was kicked out for gambling.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Osuunarashi was expelled for driving (albeit he caused an accident and didn’t have a license) and Kotomitsuki was kicked out for gambling.

Both of those cases had outside the Kyokai involvement - the police and the yakuza respectively. I just don't put Abi in that league. But maybe he does get kicked out - John Gunning thinks so. I just think it's really harsh. 

Edited by ryafuji
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I would be highly surprised if Abi were booted for this, but the NSK takes coronavirus seriously. This isn't the time to be playing around, especially if you have expectations to be a role model on you.

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The coronavirus-related stuff alone mightn't do him in alone. After all, Tagonoura oyakata got caught as well and a stern warning was the result; punishing Abi harshly for that alone might seem unfair.

But one wonders whether the NSK will take JG's view of Abi's cumulative misdeeds, or treat each one as an isolated incident. It seems that Abi and Shikoroyama oyakata were already disciplinarily dealt with for the previous incidents, in which case it would be quite harsh to take them into consideration again.

Maybe a compromise route would be to give Abi a one-basho suspension, and quietly intimate that that's his last chance - one more screwup and he's done. This hopefully isn't the last straw, but it ought to be the penultimate one.

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2 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

This kind of thing makes me uneasy. While Abi should certainly have known better than to go out at this particular time, the other stuff is frankly nannying a grown man. People worrying about Abi making sumo look bad should think about how sumo looks to potential recruits when they see that even being married and living offsite you aren’t free to run your own life. The Kyokai should indeed hold him responsible for his corona-related indiscretions because it’s bigger than sumo itself, but all that social media stuff is overreach in my opinion. Sumo needs to give its rikishi some breathing space.

I agree that banning social media is not a way to encourage potential rikishi. How do normal companies in Japan deal with their employees social media accounts? Is there much scrutiny?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Osuunarashi was expelled for driving (albeit he caused an accident and didn’t have a license) and Kotomitsuki was kicked out for gambling.

I think it should be mentioned that he also lied about who was driving, initially telling the authorities that he wasn't in the driver's seat. Then security camera footage proved that to be a lie. If he'd had a valid license from before joining sumo, and hadn't lied about who was driving, I think he would not have been given the sack.

Regarding Abi, I'd like to think that he will not be forced to retire. My money is on a suspension.

That said, what he did was particularly bad. It's a major blessing that sumo tournaments are allowed to take place to begin with. Lots of sporting events have been canceled, and this one is only allowed to happen because special care is supposedly being taken to minimize the risk. It's impossible for wrestlers to protect themselves through social distancing and if someone has COVID-19, everybody has COVID-19.

But with Tagonoura also being photographed dead drunk in a restaurant and saying he "doesn't know" if it was during this basho (that translates into "yes it was during this basho but I don't dare saying it"), and various other people having gone out along with Abi, my guess is he probably wasn't keeping it that much of a secret that he went out. Maybe he, or others, even texted other wrestlers and told them to come. Or mentioned it to others before he left. All speculation, of course, but my feeling is that, the more people involved in this, the harder it will be to punish Abi especially hard even if he's already on his second strike. Except if he was the one who set the whole thing up from the start and tried very hard to keep it hidden from anyone connected to wrestling.

edit, from the coronavirus topic:

8 hours ago, WAKATAKE said:

No real disciplinary action for Tagonoura, but a very stern warning from Director Kagamiyama. Tagonoura will be returning to duty on day 12.

https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202007290000370.html

No punishment for Tagonoura makes me feel that Abi's punishment will probably not be on the extreme end of the scale either.

Edited by dada78641
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30 minutes ago, dada78641 said:

No punishment for Tagonoura makes me feel that Abi's punishment will probably not be on the extreme end of the scale either.

1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

The corona virus-related stuff alone mightn't do him in alone. After all, Tagonoura oyakata got caught as well and a stern warning was the result; punishing Abi harshly for that alone might seem unfair.

I agree, I don't think they'll kick him out - suspension on the cards. I wouldn't be surprised if there were other sumo staff 'out and about' during the basho.

Abi needs to do a little growing up; saying 'I fell asleep' in a meeting that resulted because of his actions was just plain idiotic and childish. I know he's a young man but you'd think he'd have some sense.

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1 hour ago, dada78641 said:

I think it should be mentioned that he also lied about who was driving, initially telling the authorities that he wasn't in the driver's seat. Then security camera footage proved that to be a lie. If he'd had a valid license from before joining sumo, and hadn't lied about who was driving, I think he would not have been given the sack.

Contrast Kyokutenho, who was also caught driving but fessed up straight off; he was given a one-basho suspension only. Osunaarashi was caught lying on top of the initial crime of driving, so he got booted.

1 hour ago, dada78641 said:

But with Tagonoura also being photographed dead drunk in a restaurant and saying he "doesn't know" if it was during this basho (that translates into "yes it was during this basho but I don't dare saying it")

Alternatively, it's not just his only time this basho if you take his words at face value - he might have gone to that place multiple times.

1 hour ago, dada78641 said:

Maybe he, or others, even texted other wrestlers and told them to come. Or mentioned it to others before he left. All speculation, of course, but my feeling is that, the more people involved in this, the harder it will be to punish Abi especially hard even if he's already on his second strike. Except if he was the one who set the whole thing up from the start and tried very hard to keep it hidden from anyone connected to wrestling.

Do we know how Abi got outed in the first place? Was it Shikoroyama finding out and going ballistic, or did he get caught a la Taganoura?

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3 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Do we know how Abi got outed in the first place? Was it Shikoroyama finding out and going ballistic, or did he get caught a la Taganoura?

All indications are that it was the first case, i.e., Shikoroyama catching wind of it.  If there had been photos on the internet, the press would have released them by now ... à la Tagonoura.

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8 hours ago, Raishu said:

One basho suspension and/or final warning.

Oyakata receiving a salary cut for x months due to lack of guidance.

My personal guess.

That's what I would think reasonable, but I always tend to lowball these things and it could be a lot worse: "pour encourager les autres" and all that.

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I don’t think Abi wii be thrown out. Serious punishment, even a two basho suspension, and no dinner for a week. Shikoroyama will be demoted 3 ranks to koshikudake.

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As John pointed out in his article, NSK Chairman Hakkaku described Abi's actions as "unpardonable".  What message does that send, if not ominous?

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Giving him a suspension would not exactly be pardoning him.

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7 hours ago, Karasukurai said:

Abi needs to do a little growing up; saying 'I fell asleep' in a meeting that resulted because of his actions was just plain idiotic and childish. I know he's a young man but you'd think he'd have some sense. 

Let's not cut him too much slack for being young, though. He's 26 years old! Maybe if he were 16 or something I'd understand that he has a hard time knowing when to switch between "jovial, among close friends" mode and "serious, among superiors" mode. But at 26? No way.

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2 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

As John pointed out in his article, NSK Chairman Hakkaku described Abi's actions as "unpardonable".  What message does that send, if not ominous?

If he lied about the details of what happened then that is ominous. This appears to be the case. The NSK does not like to be lied to.

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28 minutes ago, Kishinoyama said:

If he lied about the details of what happened then that is ominous. This appears to be the case. The NSK does not like to be lied to.

I couldn't have said it better.  The big issue is going to be to what extent he lied.  The bigger the lie, the worse the punishment.

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Everybody knows you don't lie to the NSK, you tell them you "don't remember"!

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