Some members of Russia’s parliament have sent a letter to the state communications oversight agency, alleging FIFA 17's support of a recent LGBT-friendly initiative in England breaks Russia’s “gay propaganda law”.
And it’s not about dudes kissing. Well, not explicitly.
As The Guardian reports, last month England’s Premier League ran a weekend campaign called “Rainbow laces”, where players across one of the world’s most popular sporting competitions would wear rainbow-coloured laces on their boots in support of lesbian, gay, bi and trans players and fans.
Because this was in the game, and because that’s literally EA Sports’ motto, FIFA 17 joined in and offered an entire rainbow-themed kit free for download.
This has upset some Russian MPs. The country’s infamous 2013 “gay Propaganda law” prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” being available to minors. FIFA 17, being an all-ages sports game, is available to minors, and despite this being a tiny and optional update to the game, has some calling for drastic changes to the game itself.
“Every state has its internal laws and order; they need to be obeyed,” former Olympic gold medalist (and current MP) Irina Rodnina said.
A Communist party MP, meanwhile, has argued that EA need to “introduce changes to the programming code or the age classification of this information product.”
UPDATE: On the same day the Russians made these comments, EA announced that it had been named as one of the world’s best places to work for LGBTQ employees by the Human Rights Campaign.