MONTREAL – Fans of a prominent hockey video game series are calling for more action to be taken against players who use the platform to engage in racist behaviour.
EA Sports NHL, the team behind the popular series developed in Burnaby, BC, released a statement Friday denouncing any “hatred, bigotry or racism” on their games.
It also announced it was taking steps to address the problem — including harsher penalties for offensive content and strengthening profanity filters.
EA Sports NHL is among the many video game companies, including parent company Electronic Arts, that spent the last week releasing statements in light of protests that have begun around the world in support of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed May 25th while in police custody in Minneapolis.
But some gamers have remarked that, despite the statement from EA Sports NHL, they continue to see players use racist and offensive names online.
Gamer Oz Salam calls the statement “lip service.”
Adds gamer Babak Maghs, “When people say racism is systemic, this is what they mean.”
He says “It’s everyday stuff. It’s every part of the system that has negligence.”
Recent games in the series have included the “EA Sports Hockey League” mode, where players can create avatars and compete against others online.
Some gamers have complained of seeing avatars with dark skin tones and names that feature racial slurs and epithets.