Sportsmanship is a very important trait that any professional player does need to maintain in their career. Respect and conduct is an important part of the job, and this includes professional gaming, which is now a recognized sport.
When you have a large, impressionable following, it’s important to be responsible. Tassal Rushan wasn’t, however. As the FIFA Pro blamed his nationality after using a homophobic slur in a youtube video. A video that got him suspended by EA in FIFA competitive play.
The now-deleted video involved Tassal using the word “fag” which is short for the slur “faggot”. A derogatory term at a homosexual person and apparently very commonly used in the UK.
Tassal was quoted using the slur when he repeatedly retrieved a player card from the card packs. Eventually losing his temper and blurting out:
“And just like that, we’re seeing this fucking fag again.”
In an apology video that he later posted. Tassal remarked as to how he didn’t know the derogatory and homophobic meaning behind the slur. Adding that he thought it was just another substitute for ‘prick” or “fag”. In a later apology, he added
“I’m not that kind of guy,” he said. “Now that I’ve found out I’ll never ever say something like that again.
“I want to apologize to EA. I want to apologize to Faze. I’ve let EA down, I’ve let Faze down. I’ve let myself down. It’s not a great situation for me to be in. For some reason, I might be a role model to some of you. But I admire role models like Thierry Henry. Everything in his career was not always positive. There were some issues. It was how he responded to them. So, I’m here, I want to respond as positively as possible. I really want to come back.”
Finally, in a tweet he added:
This isn’t the first time EA has banned a FIFA player either as it strictly hold up its rules of conduct. Should his punishment last permanently though? Probably not.
It’s been made fairly evident that homophobia was not his intent, and despite how serious sportsmanship is, everyone slips up once in a while. We’ve all done it, so we all shouldn’t be burned at the stake for it, especially when trying to be better.