Harassment and racism are issues that are being spoken about heavily in the US currently. The Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community has spoken out against rising acts of racism and hatred in the United States in the recent past. With over 3,795 incidents against the community being recorded between March 2020 and February 2021. Overwatch League’s Dallas Fuel player Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok shared his experience on the racism and hatred that he faces during his stay in the United States. He revealed that being an Asian is terrifying and that the racism in the country is no joke and happens “basically every day”.
Fearless Was Targeted by Racist Individuals Over the Past Year
Fearless released a statement which was translated by Florida Mayhem manager Jade Kim. He said “I think Koreans living overseas should be careful. The racism here is no joke.” One of the incidents that he recounted involved multiple people attacking Dallas Fuel players and removing their masks. The individuals coughed on them. Lee revealed that the harassment happens on a regular basis. He feels that individuals try to intimidate and scare them. It forces him to wear the Dallas Fuel jersey in public to make it known that he plays for a team so he is less likely to get harassed in uniforms.
Fearless is not the only member of the Overwatch League to share his thoughts on racism in the United States. Paris Eternal’s general manager Kim Kyoung shared her experiences as well. She revealed that supermarket visits had to come to a halt due to the encounters she had with racist people and she switched to online grocery shopping instead.
Activision Blizzard Responds to The Experiences Shared by Fearless and Kim Kyoung
Polygon reached out to Activision Blizzard regarding the experiences shared by its players and other individuals involved with the Overwatch League. Activision responded to Polygon stating “At Activision Blizzard, we condemn racism in the strongest possible terms. We stand with the Asian community, our employees, and our players and are working across our organization, including esports, to do our part to combat hate and ignorance.”
Other gaming companies are also taking steps to curb racism and hate. Respawn Entertainment indefinitely called off its Chinatown Market event recently due to feedback received from the Asian American community. Event partner Chinatown Market revealed that its name was inspired by the shops, people, and vibrance of Canal Street and Chinatown in New York but agreed with the Asian American community that it is not a name the brand can rightfully use. Other gaming companies have spoken out against racism and are trying to promote a safer community that welcomes everyone. Bethesda, Ubisoft, Facebook Gaming, Bungie, and other organizations have voiced their thoughts and have condemned the acts of xenophobia, violence, and intolerance that have been committed recently.