When is racism acceptable in this day and age? Never? Thought so.
As time moves on, and we see more and more UK CS veterans retire from competitive Counter-Stike, we always seek comfort in knowing there’s a new generation of players ready to slide into their shoes. Some even go as far as to say that the scene will improve when the new generation take over as we could lose this “mix” mentality we seem to have been stuck with for the last 7+ years.
However, events came to light tonight which made me seriously question the possible pros of the future, and made me realise we could be in a lot worse shape than we are now.
Reports started to surface that Kirk “Tadpole” Stephens, a very talented young Counter-Strike player who has been steadily climbing the ESEA ranks for some time, launched a racial attack on Nick “zEO” Jugjeewon. According to reports, Kirk “Tadpole” Stephens (14 years old), accompanied Adam “adam9130” Alexander (20 years old), allegedly unleashed a flurry of unprovoked derogatory racial slurs towards zEO. Video evidence of this was uploaded to the internet, passed around social media and then swiftly deleted when the uploader realised most people didn’t see the funny side.
What’s happened now man wtf? Why can’t we all just get along?
— Jasmine Kanuga (@Veracityy_) October 10, 2017
While this isolated incident may have had all its evidence deleted, there was a second video uploaded by Adam “adam9130” Alexander to his Youtube, which again was swiftly deleted once it started to make an appearance on social media. This video showed a compilation of Tabpole being racist towards other players in ESEA PUGs. This compilation shows his readiness and willingness to use racism openly and helps to validate and bring credibility towards the claims of the attack on zEO. “But this video was also deleted?” I hear you saying, and you would be right. However, this video was cached by Google and so we were able to pull it out of the web archive and re-upload it for you take away your own conclusions from. You can view the Youtube video here.
While discussing this video on Twitter when people thought it was lost forever, the “goto” defence was “we all say things in the heat of the moment we don’t mean”. In some cases this can be an acceptable defence, but with the sheer determination in Tadpole‘s use of racial slurs, it seems like we’ve moved beyond the heat of the moment, and into a desire to insult people.
Alas, the evidence on this young player’s foul behaviour doesn’t stop there. At the start of October Jonathan “SHEEKEY” Sheekey reported Tadpole to his organisation, PromotingRadio, for using racial slurs in a game against them. While PromotingRadio acknowledged this report, it seems that they took no further action because, as far as we can tell, Tadpole still represents them in the CSGO roster.
— Jonathan Sheekey (@SHEEKEYCSGO) October 4, 2017
— Promoting Radio (@PromotingRadio) September 17, 2017
Off the back of SHEEKEY‘s report, it is worrying how many replies seemed to be hostile towards SHEEKEY for reporting this disgraceful behaviour. We reached out to Promoting Radio to find out what steps were taken after SHEEKEY‘s report and were told that he was verbally warned about his behaviour. They went on to say that should anything arise like this again, he would be removed from the roster with immediate effect.
Is this what we should expect to see in the future of the UK CSGO scene? Do we want people who turn to racism and cultural insults to be the face of our country the world of Counter-Strike? Or should we go the direction of major sports like football and stomp it out at the first sign of it. Racism hasn’t been accepted publically for over 40 years, let’s not allow it to become acceptable when protected by the partial anonymity provided by a computer screen.