EA Sports bans a teenage FIFA Player for Life over Racial Abuse
EA’s drive against racism is solid as it banned a FIFA player for life after a racist rant on Instagram targeting a former football player.
An 18-year-old FIFA player Patrick O’ Brien lost an Ultimate Team game. This was against the virtual version of Ian Wright. It all happened in May 2020. The teenager took to Instagram and sent messages full of racial abuse to Ian Wright. O’ Brien was charged over the incident and he pleads guilty but wasn’t criminally charged. The judge spared the teenager on the basis of legitimate remorse and apology.
The former footballer pardoned O’Brien. Ian expressed utter disappointment over the ruling. He shared his thoughts on Twitter, “Seeing this judgment, I can only wonder what deterrent there is for anyone else who spouts this kind of vile racist abuse. An individual wished death upon me! My skin color was his reason. No judge’s claims of ‘naivety’ or ‘immaturity’ will ever be acceptable to us.”
Penalized by EA
The teenager isn’t going to prison for his acts. He got penalized by EA. The ban issued by EA to O’Brien is a lifetime one; David Jackson, VP brand for EA Sports FIFA told Eurogamer that this, “behavior by the player was unacceptable on every level, and we will not tolerate it.”
EA Sports have stood up
Ian Wright, in one of his podcasts, commended EA’s decision by saying that the company apologized and “changed their whole policy” after the racial attack. He added, “It just made me feel good. It\’s companies like that that are going to stand on the right side. And people will say things like, well EA Sports have done this and EA Sports have done that. The fact is, EA Sports have stood up! They said that\’s wrong and we\’re going to make sure we do something about that.”
Step like this from EA is surely going to have a strong effect in mitigating racism from online games.