한줌도 안되는 권력 앞에 조각나버린 우정

김창완 국장 칼럼대한태권도협회 이승완 전 회장과 최창신 현 회장. 두 전·현 회장은 오랜 우정을 쌓아왔다. 이 사실을 태권도계 인사라면 모르는 이가 없다.

그런데 오랜 우정이 깨졌다. 한줌도 안 되는 대한태권도협회장이라는 권력을 쥐려다 정성들여 쌓아온 우정이 산산조각이 나버린 것이다.

이 두 전․현 회장은 사실상 태권도신문을 함께 이끌었다. 이 전회장이 국기원장, 대한태권도협회장에 당선돼 태권도신문을 떠났을 때도 최 회장은 꿋꿋하게 지켰다. 최 회장의 이런 의리에 이 전 회장은 항상 고마워했다.

그래서 이 전 회장은 세계태권도연맹이든 국기원이든 마땅한 자리가 생기면 항상 최 회장을 추천하곤 했다. 서로를 챙기고 두둔하는 사이였다. 태권도계에서도 두 회장 간의 우정을 의심하는 사람은 거의 없었다.

그런데 지난해 11월 대한태권도협회장 선거 과정에서 둘은 등을 돌렸다. 수십년 우정이 형체도 알아볼 수 없을 정도로 찌그러져버렸다. 게다가 이 전 회장은 선거법 위반혐의로 최창신 회장을 고소했고, 최창신 회장은 KTA 이사인 장달영 변호사를 법률대리인으로 내세우며 대응에 나섰다.

두 회장의 싸움은 제2막을 맞은 셈이다. 승자는 없고 둘 다 패자로 남아 더 괴로워하며 살아가게 될 것임을 둘은 잘 알고 있다. 어디까지 가려는 것인지 참으로 안타깝다. 굳이 나이를 들춰내고 싶지 않지만 더 싸움이 길어질 경우 서로를 용서하고 화해할 시간이 없다.

지금을 넘기는 순간 분명 후회한다. 한참 후배인 필자도 알겠는데 왜 두 분만 모르신단 말인가.

오히려 주변에서 갈등을 더 부채질 하는 사람들도 있을 것이다. 혹시 그 장단에 맞춰 춤을 출 정도로 어리석은 분들이라고 생각하진 않는다. 앞에서 언급 했듯이 이 싸움에서 승자는 없다. 결국 둘 다 떠내려 갈 것이라는 사실을 명심해주기 바란다.

먼저 넓은 마음을 갖고 용서와 화해의 손을 내밀면, 화답하는 아름다운 모습을 기대한다.

김창완 기자

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