Home Gaming eSport professional gets one-year ban for sexual harassment

eSport professional gets one-year ban for sexual harassment

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SFV cammy

eSports has exploded in popularity. While that’s incredibly cool for the players who are now getting paid to play games, it’s also a huge adjustment. Players who previously were anonymous, who were “just” good at playing games, are now role models thanks to eSports. Unlike other professional athletes, many of these guys don’t have coaches or other authority figures helping to teach them about how to behave in the public eye – just think about the scandals when Michael Phelps or other medal-winners were found to be drug users or womanizers. Traditional pro-athletes are taught from early on that anything and everything they do can and will be judged by the rest of the world; eSports pros are only just learning that.

Many eSports have started to crack down on unprofessional and inappropriate behavior, issuing warnings and bans for racism, sexism and general abuse. But this latest case has made me question my own prejudices.

Pro player, Noel Brown, is gone for the Street Fighter V season thanks to a ban from Capcom. According to GamesIndustry who go a hold of the statement from Capcom, they stated:

Over the past weekend, we were notified that an unfortunate case of sexual harassment occurred at Combo Breaker 2016, a Capcom Pro Tour Ranking Event, where a female attendee received unwarranted and unwanted contact from a male attendee, who is confirmed to be Noel Brown. This incident was also captured on camera during the live stream before the Street Fighter V Losers Finals match.

This was cited as a first offense, with a warning that a second offense will result in a lifetime ban. Additionally, these penalties are meant to serve as a template for similar incidents from other players going forward.

We do not condone any acts of harassment and we want all of our players and fans to know we will continue our work to ensure that all Capcom Pro Tour events provide safe, inviting environments where the focus is on healthy competition and exciting rivalries. We support Combo Breaker’s decision to ban Noel Brown and support any tournament organizer who decides to ban anyone from their event who they feel is creating a hostile environment for other attendees.

So, good guy Capcom, end of story, right? I mean, sexual harassment is bad and should be punished, no question. And this is something that needs to be drilled into our local guys, too – what you do and say can and will be held against you. Players need to be better behaved and if bans will keep them in line, I’m all for it.

But there’s always a but… You see, I decided to go hunting for the video of the sexual harassment. It shouldn’t matter – sexual harassment isn’t about “how bad was it”, but I’m curious and wanted to see for myself. So, thanks to reddit, I found this gif. Noel Brown is the man in the white t-shirt who grabs the butt of the lady in the blue hoodie.

Noel brown sexual harassment

So again, I know that any unwanted touching is sexual harassment, and therefore I support this lady and support the ban. However, I feel like this gif highlights something that’s wrong in me – I didn’t even notice the touching the first few times I watched the video, and when I did see it, I then checked to see if she “seemed” upset or if this was just two friends joking around. Why is my initial reaction “oh, that’s not so bad” and “oh hey, maybe she didn’t mind” when actually she shouldn’t have her butt grabbed unless she wants it? It’s not okay.

So, here’s hoping that Noel Brown learns his lesson while I also try to be reminded of mine. Not all sexual harassment is violent or horrifying – it doesn’t have to be over the top to still be unacceptable.

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Last Updated: June 6, 2016

57 Comments

  1. SkittelZA

    June 6, 2016 at 10:07

    This sort of thing is so disgusting. Hats off to Capcom and Combo Breaker for dealing with this in the appropriate manner. Nothing about that is okay.

    Reply

  2. Greylingad[He Charges!]

    June 6, 2016 at 10:10

    Well, for starters, we don’t know whether there was a verbal exchange between the two, whether that went further than just the grab, my first thoughts were also “That’s not too bad”, but what happened afterwards? When referring to anything as professional, the conduct in that field should be a reflection of integrity. Manners and common decency are things that go hand in hand with good sportsmanship.

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 6, 2016 at 10:12

      See this is something I want to know too. Was there any flirting, what was said? This light bum touch is bad, but like, how bad was it really? Was there the typical coo-ing that accompanies things like this? Yes, that’d make it worse, but that’s what I expect happened.

      Reply

      • SkittelZA

        June 6, 2016 at 10:15

        It really doesn’t matter what happened afterwards to be fair, or what happened before, or what happened during, except for the fact that no woman (or man) wants to be inappropriately groped in public. It is demeaning and it IS sexual harassment, no matter how “small” or “subtle” it seemed to be.

        Reply

        • Pariah

          June 6, 2016 at 10:18

          So you’re saying it doesn’t matter if he was being a cunt. But if he touches then it’s bad. Not before, not after. Only if it’s physical? That’s narrow minded. YES it’s worse if he was cooing and flirting without her wanting it. But what if they were flirting? What if she was cooing him? There is a lot we don’t know. And the preceding conversation is hugely important as it gives us context. I’m expecting that he was cooing her without her wanting it, but there’s possibility that it was the other way around. You know like “omg he raped me” – when it was consensual. It happens. Not likely in this case, but it happens. Context is king.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 6, 2016 at 10:23

            Well he’s sitting behind her left shoulder and after she got groped her hand goes to her mouth in shock I presume. So who knows, it would be nice to hear from Mr. Grab Ass himself

          • Pariah

            June 6, 2016 at 10:25

            “oh my…” *wink face*

            Still a possibility from that gif. Could be the sex was bad. Muahaha.

            *stokes the flames*

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 6, 2016 at 10:31

            LOL

          • SkittelZA

            June 6, 2016 at 10:31

            Lol, no, you cannot twist my words to your own agenda by saying “Only if it’s physical”… emotional harassment is equally as bad, but in the context (yes, context is king) of this matter… he touched her physically. So what if they were flirting before? That doesn’t give him the right to touch her physically unless she actually asked him to grab her butt.

            Granted, if she actually asked him to grab her butt, then we are all talking about nothing much here, except for the fact that it still looks like sexual harassment and he is now a public figure.

          • Pariah

            June 6, 2016 at 10:35

            Please tell me where I said it was ok for him to touch her? I said “in addition”. As in – it’s probably worse than it looks… You don’t get to twist my words either.

          • SkittelZA

            June 6, 2016 at 10:49

            Lol wait, I think we are dancing around what we are each trying to say here… I think we are agreeing with each other except for the point of the context, which I was trying to say doesn’t justify what happened, no matter what was said before, after or during (unless of course she literally asked him to do it).

            You said I was narrow minded for insinuating that only physical contact is bad, which I of course never said or intended to say. That is what sparked this whole rebuttal 😛

          • Pariah

            June 6, 2016 at 10:52

            Yup, I think we’re in agreement here. Sorry, my bad. I guess I misunderstood. 🙂

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 6, 2016 at 10:55

            What a chop. *run*

          • Pariah

            June 6, 2016 at 10:55

            *tjop

            Do even Saffa bruh?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 6, 2016 at 10:56

            …..goddamnit.

          • SkittelZA

            June 6, 2016 at 11:02

            I propose we have a few games of Overwatch to smooth it all over 😛 No worries, I think we both had some misunderstandings going on there. No grabbing butts!

          • Pariah

            June 6, 2016 at 11:05

            Yep, not unless they have asked for it specifically, in words, or it’s your gf/bf/wife/husband and they like it.

            Also I don’t have Overwatch. XD

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        June 6, 2016 at 10:16

        He tried to be sneaky with a quick squeeze while the crowd was in motion, doesn’t seem like a thing friends would do

        Reply

        • Pariah

          June 6, 2016 at 10:18

          Huh? Friends?

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 6, 2016 at 10:20

            Well, teammates to be exact, nothing wrong with a pat on the bum if your batting partner shoots one through the covers

          • Pariah

            June 6, 2016 at 10:21

            Wait wait wait. So you’re ok if it’s guy on guy, unsolicited. But guy on girl isn’t? Hint: it’s never ok, if unsolicited. And I just want to ask, what about my comment says I’m condoning what he did? I’m saying there’s more – and that more is probably worse than the bum grab.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 6, 2016 at 10:24

            Like I said, would be nice to hear from Noel. But it looks bad

          • Greylingad[He Charges!]

            June 6, 2016 at 10:26

            Yep!

          • BakedBagel

            June 6, 2016 at 13:43

            Guys who are comfortable with their sexuality arnt that bothered by another dude touches their ass lol. Even less when its friends or teammates.

            It happens far more on the Rugby field than one would admit

          • Pariah

            June 6, 2016 at 13:48

            That doesn’t make it right.

          • BakedBagel

            June 6, 2016 at 13:56

            No one said it makes it right lmao.

            Im just elaborating on what Steyn said about teammates.

            When you have a brotherly bond with someone, especially in a team game where its them vs us, bum touching becomes something that guys do

            Anyway. No one is saying that that makes it somehow “Okay” todo.

        • BakedBagel

          June 6, 2016 at 13:42

          * squeezes Steyn’s butt *

          Friends still :D?

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 6, 2016 at 13:59

            LOL!

      • Greylingad[He Charges!]

        June 6, 2016 at 10:23

        Exactly! Having only witnessed the grab, which, as mentioned before, should not happen in a professional environment, we still only have one instance of where this originates from.

        Reply

  3. HairyEwok

    June 6, 2016 at 10:13

    I guess all the real sport starts are going, welcome to the big league.

    Reply

  4. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    June 6, 2016 at 10:13

    Coaches or other authority figures on how to behave in public? Some people are just twats, can’t cure that

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 6, 2016 at 10:14

      Often it’s the coaches. 😛

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        June 6, 2016 at 10:17

        XD

        Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 6, 2016 at 10:16

      No it’s true. I would never have been able to figure out for myself that you’re not supposed to grope random people in public if someone hadn’t explicitly told me it’s bad. Oh wait, I didn’t need to be told & I could figure it out.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        June 6, 2016 at 10:18

        Exactly, even when I’m pissed at the pub I don’t go over to a lady and try and ask her if she’s Google because she’s everything I’m searching for…… then showing her my search history on my phone. That’s just wrong

        Reply

        • Her Highness the Hipster

          June 6, 2016 at 10:19

          LOL! man it’s a good thing i’m off the market, because lines like that would kill me!

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 6, 2016 at 10:20

            XD

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 6, 2016 at 11:09

          That wouldn’t work for me because I’d probably show my age by saying something about Altavista.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 6, 2016 at 11:24

            BWAHAHAHAHA!

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 6, 2016 at 10:26

    Yeah the “it’s not so bad” thing is what makes it so hard for people to understand. I’ve got a colleague who’s quite attractive and she regularly complains about guys doing just that at the gym or at a club or where ever. She doesn’t want to be touched by random people, it doesn’t matter what random person wants, don’t touch.

    Reply

    • Greylingad[He Charges!]

      June 6, 2016 at 10:31

      I wonder if a large part of that is not due to what people use the excuse of “It’s because we are so exposed to sexual content” that makes it ok? I also have a colleague that’s quite attractive, but on every occasion she’s made it clear that she isn’t some lugnuts’ eye candy…or hand candy for contextual purposes…

      Reply

      • HairyEwok

        June 6, 2016 at 10:50

        People will blame gaming, gaming ruined him.

        Reply

    • Dutch Matrix

      June 6, 2016 at 10:34

      Pepper spray. Tell her to get some pepper spray. I am not joking. Then, if some guy grabs her again, she sprays him. Right in the face! In public.
      BETTER YET! TAZER THE BASTARD! IN THE BALLS! Then when he’s down, pepper spray his balls!

      Reply

      • Greylingad[He Charges!]

        June 6, 2016 at 10:38

        “And it burns burns burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire”

        Sorry, that was the first thing that came to mind…

        Reply

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      June 6, 2016 at 10:35

      agreed! I’ve been seriously upset about far less in professional situations, so I totally agree that Capcom did the right thing. It’s the fact that I thought I should go see, go see how bad it was, that highlight the issue of how broken our thinking is about sexual harassment.

      Reply

    • Mauro

      June 6, 2016 at 13:57

      So much ado about nothig

      Reply

  6. Pariah

    June 6, 2016 at 10:27

    Also SJW’s UNITE!

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 6, 2016 at 10:28

      TO THE TWEETMOBILE

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 6, 2016 at 10:50

        Does that mean Batman is an SJW? Because he drives the Tumblr.

        Reply

        • HairyEwok

          June 6, 2016 at 10:57

          Heh Tumblrdryer

          Reply

  7. Admiral Chief Protector

    June 6, 2016 at 10:29

  8. Strawman Jim

    June 6, 2016 at 11:23

    I can just see former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi scratching his head and being very confused about all of this;

    “But…in Italy, we tough all the ladies on the bum!”

    I have to agree though, unwanted touching is a no-no, and while it may seem like an “innocent” pinch, it is undoubtedly inappropriate.

    Reply

  9. Gavin Mannion

    June 6, 2016 at 12:27

    That’s so freaking random…

    it’s more like he pokes her in the ass.. randomly.. so weird.

    and it doesn’t look like she knows him really, you can see how she turns around and then instantly turns back.. so bizarre.

    Reply

    • Dresden

      June 6, 2016 at 17:37

      I thought he was just attempting to make a childish prank like a stranger tapping you on the shoulder and looking away (but in this case taking it one step further).

      Reply

  10. oVg

    June 6, 2016 at 13:20

  11. WhiteRock

    June 6, 2016 at 15:47

    I think if they were friends her reaction would rather have been a punch to the arm or a headslap, not the akward look she gave him. I have to say though, and I DO NOT condone what he did, but as but grabs go, that was really, really weak…

    Reply

  12. Watch_Dog

    June 7, 2016 at 04:59

    I’m just here to complain that the font of the content hurts my eyes, can’t even get a second to read a word. Font choice is sooooooo thin! Who designed this website?

    Glad Chrome has a developer mode, changed font-weight to bold :3

    Reply

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