FIFA 19 pro: I’m from London, I didn’t know ‘fag’ was homophobic
An eSports competitor has claimed he did not know it was homophobic to call someone a “f**king fag,” because he is from London.
Tassal ‘Tass’ Rushan, a professional FIFA gaming player, has been banned from competitive FIFA 19 tournaments after using the slur in a recent YouTube video.
According to Eurogamer, the FIFA 19 pro grew frustrated after repeatedly drawing Uruguay midfielder Matías Vecino from a random card pack, complaining: “We’re seeing this f**king fag again!”
Rushan posted a seven-minute apology video to YouTube on Monday (November 5), after EA Sports reportedly informed him he would be suspended from competitive play for violating conduct rules.
He said that the use of the slur was “a very unfortunate, unintentional misunderstanding from my end,” claiming he thought the word “fag” was “like another word for prick or idiot.”
He added: “Not even one percent of me thought or knew it had any type of derogatory connotation towards homosexuality at all.”
Rushan continued: “I’m sitting here laughing a little bit, because it just comes down to stupidity, and was purely unintentional from my perspective.
“I think some of you guys could back me up on this. Who’s from London? Did you know that word had that connotation? Some of you will, some of you won’t.
“But internationally, I should have known how that world could have been perceived, and I didn’t.”
Rushan explained that he has “been suspended from competing in qualifiers and live events” by EA Sports for an unknown time period.
He added: “I still have to apologise. Some of you who were upset, hopefully will forgive me and some of you may not… and that’s fine.”
In a tweet, he continued: “I am sorry to anyone I offended with what I said, I hold myself to a higher standard & I failed to live by FaZe & EA’s code of conduct.
“It was a wake up call that I need to be more careful with what I say, I’ll use it as a learning curve moving ahead, I’ll be back competing soon.”
An EA spokesperson told PinkNews: “EA strongly condemns the offensive remarks made by Tass in the recent live stream.
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“We do not tolerate players engaging in such action and behaviour. We are in contact with Tass and [eSports team] FaZe Clan on this matter and have communicated our clear position.”
In 2016, Russian MPs called for a ban on the FIFA 17 video game, because it allowed players to take part in the rainbow laces campaign.
The EA Sports game had joined Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, which sees real-life UK football teams stand up to homophobia, by making a Pride-themed football kit available as a free download.
Politicians in Russia claimed the game violated the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law by making the downloadable kit available as part of the anti-homophobia campaign.