Police detain swimming star for driving SUV without license
Updated: 2013-11-05 00:45
By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai (China Daily)
Sun made an apology on his micro blog for driving without a license.
"I am deeply sorry for what I've done and will reflect on my behavior. Because I've been focusing on training and competition, I had only a hazy knowledge of laws, which led to my mistake," reads his apology.
"After this incident, I'll strengthen my knowledge and study of laws to prevent such an incident from happening again. I hope everyone will take this as a warning and give me an opportunity to correct my mistake."
However, the apology has left many members of the public dissatisfied, with some saying it was the swimmer's sense of entitlement that led him to drive without a license, not ignorance of law.
"Even a child knows it's against the law to drive without a license," said Wang Chen, a 42-year-old white-collar worker in Shanghai.
"It's easy for young people to become conceited after becoming famous. I believe if he was an average person or an athlete who's not famous, he wouldn't dare to do such a thing."
Xu Houyao, a 26-year-old white-collar worker in Shanghai, said: "Taking advantage of one's celebrity status is a terrible mentality. Also, how can the public be sure that it's the first time Sun has driven without a license?"
Reactions on Sina Weibo, were also broadly critical. In a poll on the platform, more than 11,500 people agreed that Sun should be punished, serving as a warning to the public. As of Monday at 6:30 pm, nearly 1,900 believed he should be let off.
Sun's case is the most recent of several similar cases involving celebrities in the past few years.
Table tennis world and Olympic champion Kong Linghui was detained and fined 1,800 yuan ($295) for driving while under the influence of alcohol in July 2006.
Singer, music producer and director Gao Xiaosong was also sentenced to six months in prison in May 2011 after being found guilty of causing an accident and injuring four people when drunk.
"Celebrities are spoiled by society, but they should be self-disciplined and observe laws and regulations, because the public wants social equality," said Yi.
"Also, reckless driving is irresponsible, endangering both themselves and others."