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04th Mar 2021

EA Sports bans FIFA player who racially abused Ian Wright for life

EA Sports have banned a FIFA player who racially abused Ian Wright for life, a decision that the former Arsenal and England forward has praised

Reuben Pinder

Wright praised EA’s stance on the matter

EA have banned a FIFA player for life from their platforms after he racially abused Ian Wright after losing a match on FIFA Ultimate Team.

Patrick O’Brien was playing with Ian Wright’s legends card on the game mode, before sending the former Arsenal and England striker racially abusive messages on Instagram.

O’Brien escaped without a criminal conviction, with the judge citing Wright’s forgiveness of the offender as a reason to reduce the severity of O’Brien’s punishment.

Wright expressed his disappointment at the ruling after it was announced, saying “This case was never about revenge, it was always about consequences for acts of racism.”

On the latest episode of his podcast, Wrighty’s House, published by The Ringer, Wright said: “EA Sports bro, they stepped up. After this attack, they’ve changed their whole policy. They even apologised to me, which I found really strange. I said ‘you don’t have to apologise to me.’

“He’s banned for life, he can never play on there again.

“As small as that is, a little chip out of the massive stone that is racism. But what it proves is that there is some consequence somewhere and EA are saying ‘we’re gonna stand on the right side of this, real action.”

Following EA’s decision to ban the player, David Jackson, VP Brand EA SPORTS FIFA, said: “Ian Wright is part of our EA SPORTS family. 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.”