EA Trying New Technology To Fight FIFA 21's Racism Problem

Illustration for article titled EA Trying New Technology To Fight FIFA 21's Racism Problem
Screenshot: EA Sports

While EA has issued over 25,000 warnings and suspensions, and banned over 9,000 accounts for “inappropriate or offensive content” since the launch of FIFA 21 last year, it may shock you to learn that the game still has a problem with racist white folks using certain systems and game modes to act like assholes.


As this Eurogamer investigation reveals, while much of our (and EA’s, presumably) attention falls on regular multiplayer, especially FIFA’s flagship Ultimate Team, the lower-profile Pro Clubs mode is “riddled with racism”, and has been for well over a decade.

Some examples include:

Racist players, using the “banter defence”, have abused the commentary system to, for example, set their player’s commentary name to “banana” in order to nickname black players with the term. Some players would also change their player commentary name to “negro” (using footballers whose surname is Negro), or “Khune” (using the commentary for Itumeleng Khune, the South African goalkeeper for Kaizer Chiefs F.C.), to cause offense. Players have also reported running into racist caricatures via custom-made player faces.

Part of the problem here is that the Pro Clubs mode, which lets users create a player and/or team and take part in 11v11 online games, doesn’t make its reporting systems clear to players.

In response to Eurogamer’s report, EA says “more intelligent monitoring and mitigation technology” will be “released in the coming months, though how effective that will be against some of the tactics highlighted above is yet to be proven.

You can read more about the investigation, and EA’s response, in Eurogamer’s story.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.


Mortal Dictata

Almost surprised EA didn’t claim it was a new layer of simulation to accurately depict how racist football fandom still is.