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Soccer Team Signs FIFA Player, Cuts Him Two Days Later Over "Online Behaviour"

Illustration for article titled Soccer Team Signs iFIFA /iPlayer, Cuts Him Two Days Later Over Online Behaviour

Two days ago, Dutch soccer club PSV proudly announced the signing of 22 year-old FIFA player Tony Kok to their esports team. Before the weekend was over, that contract had been torn up over sexist comments Kok has made on Twitter over the years.

PSV—who were so proud of the initial announcement that they made this trailer for it—say in a statement on the club’s website that while they performed a background check before offering the deal, “Kok and his management failed to share information about his past”.

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They’re referring to a number of deleted tweets (which fans have since recovered, and some of which are viewable on SoccerNews) in which Kok makes derogatory, sexist comments towards women. One particular tweet stands out though, where Kok—who it turns out is a fan of Ajax, a rival Dutch club—calls PSV fans “gay”.

Speaking with Dutch site Omroep Brabant, PSV’s general manager Toon Gerbrands said “The behavior that Kok has shown online is so far from the core values of PSV that a continuation of our cooperation is impossible. This was a hopeless and embarrassing situation for him and for us.”

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Kok’s management, meanwhile, told AD that while Kok is ultimately responsible for his actions, the recovery of his old tweets was part of a “smear campaign”.

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.

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DISCUSSION

sixtail
Foxstar loves Bashcraft

lol

If you don’t want what you said online brought up again and used against you when money comes a calling, don’t say it online, or near -anyone- with a device that can record. Of course you are older/wiser now, but the entire thing about being a youthful idiot within the last 20 years online is that shit you said then can surely be brought up and used against you at any point.

This dude isn’t the first one who’s going to be held to account for what he’s said and he will damned sure not be the last. If you are in anyway toxic or seen as bad optics, you are rightly fucked and so, wave goodbye to that money you might have made. Scream ‘smear’ and ‘SJW’ all you like, but brands aren’t going to stand for it.