Facing the prospect of a one-tournament suspension at the hands of EA Sports, FIFA 21 star Harry “Harry” Hesketh instead made the ban permanent on Saturday, announcing his retirement from competitive play. And in the process, Harry attempted to turn attention to a discipline system he contends is, at best, imbalanced when it comes to punishment — and at worst part of a personal vendetta against him.
And all of it stems from what Harry insists was a “mom joke” gone bad.
Ban Stems From ‘Mom Joke’ Gone Bad
Back on Dec. 12, the 24-year-old Brit was playing 14-year-old wunderkind Anders “Vejrgang” Vejrgang of Denmark in an Ultimate Team Stream, when Harry said of Vejrgang, “his fingers might be quick, but mine are longer” and then made a comment about Vejrgang’s mother.
Just a few days later, however, Harry posted a YouTube video during which he apologized for the statement and told his fans not to defend him or excuse his words.
EA Drops Ban … Harry Drops Hammer
“I know my UK base are going to be like ‘it’s a mom joke’ — don’t defend me. It’s a distasteful comment,” Harry said in the video.
Certainly EA Sports, developer of the FIFA video game series, did not take the words lightly. The company announced on Saturday it was banning Harry from the FGS Europe Regional Qualifier scheduled for Feb. 6-7. Later that day, Harry again took to YouTube, this time to offer up his response.
Harry: I Can Get Every FIFA Player Banned
“I got dealt the same severity of ban for a mom joke as racism. That’s just a stone cold fact,” he said. “If this is the precedent you’re setting for pro players, in the next 24 hours, I could go out and get every single person that’s ever competed in FIFA on the world stage banned.”
“The thing with EA that disheartens me a bit is the personal relationships,” he added later. “I get along with everyone I’ve met. I have zero personal vendettas against anyone I’ve met. I don’t know where it’s gone wrong, but it’s gone wrong somewhere.”
From Man With A Plan To Man With No Home
Later in the video, Harry told his 700,000-plus YouTube subscribers, “I’m announcing my retirement from EA competitive events, effective immediately. This is the biggest risk of my life – if I’m not competing, I’m not competing with a team, so I’m deleting a three-year contract there.”
A day later, Fnatic — with whom Harry signed in July — announced it is parting ways with the star.
For now, anyway, Harry will focus his attention on content creation and Twitch. But with nearly 900,000 combined followers on the platforms, that isn’t the worst fallback plan.