In what is being explained as a move of “respect for the victims and all those impacted” by recent mass shooting events in Texas and Ohio that left dozens dead or wounded, the XGames EXP Invitational esports event for Apex Legends has been yanked from its planned broadcast this weekend on ESPN and ABC. ABC will replace the time slot with a hockey documentary, while ESPN plans to air tournament highlights at some point this October.
According to a statement from an ESPN spokesperson, the decision was made to respect those affected by the tragedies. “It seemed the prudent thing to do given the swirl of that moment,” reads part of the statement.
The response to the shootings and its tenuous connection with video gaming is just one such measure being taken. Wal-Mart is removing signage depicting violent video games according to intercepted internal notices handed out to Wal-Mart employees, though the retailer still sells firearms. These reactions come amid calls from some US politicians who are now emboldened to hold gaming up as a scapegoat, in spite of mounting scientific evidence to the contrary. It’s all pretty exhausting, and the games industry has larger issues.