EA Sports and multiple soccer leagues have added special kits to FIFA 23 in “fight to end racism and discrimination on and off the pitch.”
EA Sports announced that they had produced special in-game player kits for FIFA 23 that feature “powerful messages about eradicating racism and discrimination in football, on and off the pitch.” Players unlock these kits from completing certain Objectives.
SVP of Brand Andrea Hopelain stated that EA Sports “is committed to tackling toxicity not only in our games but also out on the pitch and beyond. We stand with our league partners and aim to use our platform to spread the anti-racism message through gaming. Players across the globe can now access the latest bespoke kits in-game and showcase their support for this important cause.”
The move is also part of the Premier League’s “No Room For Racism Action Plan” campaign, with designer Kingsley Nebechi and Nike collaborating on the kit design, and a stadium vanity with the “NRFR” message on display. The kit’s design “takes inspiration from tribal artwork, relating to ethnicities from around the world.”
EA Sport’s efforts go beyond the Premier League, sharing how they worked with other soccer leagues, their real-world campaigns, and other anti-racism groups. Bundesliga’s “Stop Racism” campaign collaborated with indie streetwear brand Beautiful Struggles for their kit, while LaLiga Santander’s UNITY worked with art collective BOA Mistura for their kit.
The French Ligue 1 Uber Eats works with LICRA (The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism) for the “We Are All Responsible” campaign. It aims to tackle not just behavior in stadiums but online as well. Their kit also featured a logo that read “SIGNALEZ” and a training bib which encourages fans to “Entrez en jeu” — respectively translated as “report” and “step forward.”
Italy’s Serie A collaborated with UNAR (National Office Against Racial Discrimination) for “Keep Racism Out,” aiming to spread their campaign beyond soccer and sport. Finally, the Dutch KNVB and Eredivisie leagues’ “One Love” campaign aids to not just spread awareness, but offers training to soccer clubs to “use and help educate about the power of diversity.”
Near the end of the press release, Electronic Arts boasts their Positive Play Charter launched in 2020 — an initiative that sought to reinforce positive play within the community — which “outlines the commitment to combat disruptive behaviour and promote healthier behaviour, by creating positive interactions, positive experiences and positive environments for all.”
Treating peers with respect, sharing clean content, following local laws, and keeping things fair are some of the key elements found in their guidelines.
“Be mindful and compassionate to anyone you interact with. We all come from different walks of life. Each of us plays a role in helping others feel welcome and like they belong,” the document encourages, pointing out that harassment, in any form, will bring consequences for dissenting players.
Placing restrictions on the player’s account, temporarily revoking access to services, and even temporary suspensions are some of the measures Electronic Arts will resort to in order to “ensure our communities remain safe.”