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FIFA Player Given Lifetime Ban By EA For Racially Abusing Ian Wright

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FIFA Player Given Lifetime Ban By EA For Racially Abusing Ian Wright

A FIFA player has been given a lifetime ban from the game by EA, after he racially abused Ian Wright on social media.

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In May 2020, 18-year-old Patrick O'Brien lost a game of Ultimate Team whilst using an Icon card of the Arsenal legend.

The teenager turned to social media to show his ire at the real life Wright and sent him 20 messages on Instagram, racially abusing the 57-year-old.

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In a statement, EA have now confirmed that, following a sentencing last week that saw O'Brien avoid criminal conviction, the gamer has been given a lifetime ban.

"Ian Wright is part of our EA Sports family," EA's David Jackson said, "We hugely value his partnership and support, and we also want him to know he has our support.

"Last year, Ian was subject to a terrible, racist verbal attack by a player who lost a match of FIFA 20. This behaviour by the player was unacceptable on every level, and we will not tolerate it.

"Our Positive Play Charter guides our actions in a situation like this, and we've taken the action to ban the player permanently from playing or accessing our games. Racism must stop. We are committed to continuing our work in positive play, through actions that will make our communities fun, fair, and safe for everyone."

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O'Brien covers up after his court hearing. Image: PA Images
O'Brien covers up after his court hearing. Image: PA Images

The judge said there was 'nothing to be gained' from a criminal conviction and pointed to the guilty party's 500 euro donation to the Irish Network Against Racism as proof of his genuine remorse.

O'Brien also sent a written apology to Wright, who accepted it, but the former England international took to social media to say he was unhappy with the decision in court last week.

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Speaking on his podcast, Wright was far happier with how EA had responded to the racist abuse, saying, "EA Sports bro, they stepped up for me

"After this attack they changed their whole policy. And you know with a company like that, the different levels, and can you imagine the legality you have to go through to change your policy? Not only for me, it's for their staff, for players, the talent, the people they partner with. Zero tolerance. Zero tolerance. And action will be taken.

"They even apologised to me, which I found really strange. I said to them, you don't have to apologise to me. They said, no we do have to apologise to you simply because it was our platform that he came for you on. We have a responsibility to make people who want to use our platforms, are safe to do so.

"So, it sends that message guys of, whether it's race, religion, sex, whatever, no discrimination will be tolerated. He's banned for life. Totally banned for life. He can never play on there again."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Ian Wright, EA Sports, Arsenal, FIFA 21

Ryan Sidle
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