FIFA 17 and Rainbow Laces
FIFA 17 is a video game created by EA Sports, a brand of of Electronic Arts located in Burnaby, British Columbia. Most EA Sports games are distinguished by year, hence the title FIFA 17. The game was released on September 27, 2016 in North America and the rest of the wold on September 29, 2016.
The game features virtual rainbow coloured uniforms that players can deck out their in game teams with. The English Premier League recently used rainbow coloured laces as part of a campaign which partnered with the LGBT rights group Stonewall to fight homophobia and transphobia in sport, the campaign ended in November.
EA Sports included the rainbow kit in FIFA 17 and Russian MP’s aren’t having it, sending a letter to authorities urging them to take action.
EA invited users to support the action of the English Premier League’s “Rainbow Shoelaces” action and support the LGBT community.
Russia’s controversial gay propaganda law, passed in 2013, prohibits advocating anything other than ‘traditional family values”. The law caused a worldwide backlash including organizations such as The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International..
Russia’s law prohibits anyone from coming out publicly or to publicly support LGBTQ2+ people, causes, events and so on.
Possible Restrictive Measures
A lot of hate has been aimed toward EA for doing this campaign and according to a few internet sites, gamers have met people with rage while playing the game. YouTube has videos of some gamers deleting the rainbow kit. No matter, EA has been highly praised for it’s support for equality and has shown absolute rock solid support for the LGBTQ2+ community.
One Russian MP suggested changing the programming code or adding age restrictions to the game. In Russia, anyone who come out or speaks of being LGBT in public will face a fine or jail.
And finally, remember there is a history of countries and individuals who have and continue to write LGBT people out of video games.