League of Legends Tournament Reverses Restrictive Anti-Gay and Trans Ruling With Classic Non-Apology
"Good discussion, team!"
I imagine that when the team behind Garena Philippines woke up this morning, they were, to put it mildly, alarmed at their sudden international attention. But the good news is, they’ve seen the light! Sort of. We think. At least they’re not doing the thing we were all mad at anymore.
Following an incredibly unpopular new ruling for an all-female League of Legends tournament that disbarred teams from having more than one gay or trans woman per team (due to the fact that they “might have an unfair advantage”) Garena Philippines has done a 180 and brought the inclusivity back into their tournament—now “anyone who self-identifies as female will be allowed to participate,” presumably in whatever kind of team structure they’d like.
This is all well and good, of course, but I can’t help but feel like the rest of the apology smacks a little of “sorry you were offended,” particularly the sentence they open with:
Our initial ruling on LGBT player restrictions within the Iron Solari League has created a lot of good discussion and debate over the past 24 hours. After discussing the ruling with our partners and re-examining our approach, we have decided to remove these restrictions completely. This means that any player who self-identifies as female will be allowed to participate. We sincerely apologize for any offense we caused to the LGBT and gaming communities.
Our original intent when we put together this tournament was to promote diversity in the competitive gaming community. Hence, we are grateful to our players who have consistently provided their feedback to help us learn and improve as we strive to develop an inclusive gaming environment for all. We’ll also be keeping our promise of having an open dialogue with all parties as we plan this and future events.
We hope you will tune in to support these awesome teams and players in this upcoming tournament.
“Created a lot of good discussion and debate?” I don’t know, team, I feel like that’s the sort of thing you’d say before you lay down a mandate, not after when everyone is pissed at you.
On the one hand, I don’t know that I can 100% fault them for having no idea how to backtrack when a day ago they were literally on record as suggesting that gay and transgender women are inherently better at video games for some reason. On the other, they can’t unring the terrible bell that they’ve rung—now they’ve inadvertently given ammunition to the dark side of the gaming community that thinks “special snowflake SJWs” are trying to invade their space just because they would not like to be subjected to inexplicable restrictions against their very presence. So it would have been nice to see Garena actually take some responsibility and note that their initial decision was total nonsense, because it was.
At the very least, if you’re gay, trans, or gay and trans, and you were thinking about joining the Iron Solari league before all this baffling BS went down, know that you’re not going to get turned away at the door for being who you are. Also, maybe shout “boo” at some people on your way in, just for kicks. I totally would.
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