Counter-Strike Player Suspended From Pro League For Calling An Opponent A Monkey

Niko "k1to" Gruhne has been suspended from the Faceit Pro League for a month after he made a racist comment during a pick-up Counter-Strike session.

Gruhne was playing a pick-up Faceit game when he called Brazilian pro Joao "felps" Vasconcellos a "fucking monkey" after getting killed by him. The moment was caught on another pro's stream:

Vasconcellos saw the clip and tweeted at Gruhne about it. The latter responded, apologising and saying it "wasn't meant to be serious," to which Vasconcellos said "we have made mistakes and learned. It's okay, you are forgiven."

Faceit ultimately gave Gruhne a one-month ban from the Pro League for the comment. Community relations representative Milos Nedeljkovic wrote in a statement that "what happened yesterday is something that went beyond being a genuine joke among players at the point that one member could have felt being insulted on a racial base".

Gruhne's team, Alternate aTTaX, also gave a statement on the matter to Dot Esports.

"The word is practically harmless in German and our player was unaware of any implications that the word might carry in other languages. This does of course not excuse the offence caused, but at least reveals that there was no racist intent to his actions ... We will not be taking any kid of disciplinary action against [k1to]. He received a month-long FPL ban and we feel that this should be enough."


Comments

    Again and again... Why is nobody in the pro gaming industry sending their players to basic PR lessons? Plenty of famous people are racist dickheads. They just learn not to say it in front of millions of viewers.

    You want to run a professional sports team? Teach your players to act the part.

      Because eSports is still juvenile, they can barely pay their players appropriately as if they are going to pay to get them to understand how to act in the public eye.

      Some teams do, which is why you never hear about them in this context.
      SK is a good example in the CSGO scene.

        Some teams are better funded than others. Some teams have a better understanding of the eSports scene. Some teams do give basic PR training but forget that just because a word or gesture means one thing in one language or country or culture doesn't mean it means the same in another and forget to allow for that in the training.

        There are a lot of reasons this could have happened. It doesn't excuse it, but there you go.

        Last edited 20/04/18 2:01 pm

    Uh, so how's it racist?

      Not sure, but after seeing the reaction on Twitter over it, it got me wondering. Is there a racial slur against Australians that would make us so mad we'd all be spewin?

        "Is there a racial slur against Australians that would make us so mad"

        That moment when you don't realise that 'Australian' is not a race because you are very very stupid.

      If it's a person of colour (mostly African American) it's considered a racist insult because the insinuation is that they are like a monkey and thus of lesser intelligence due to their skin colour.

        From the looks of it the guy who was called a monkey isn't black.

          Its used as a racist term towards anyone from an african nation. Inluding South America

            South America is Africa now? 0_o

            /tongue in cheek

            I must admit I have heard that Monkey is considered a racist term, but only because of the Harbajan Singh/Andrews Symonds drama a few years back.

            I've gotta be honest, I see this in the same light as the "fag" insults mentioned in another thread. If it's a generic insult who cares. I only have an issue with it if the "insulter" specifically uses it because they know the victim will be particularly affected by it.

            Of course it's pretty hard to determine what's going on in the guys head when he says it. Which leads to the problem. Maybe the solution is to effectively mute everything the competitors say, since so many things that seem innocuous to one person are offensive to another.

        So *that's* where it comes from. Thanks for the heads up.

        The last I heard of that term being used was when Adam Goods rode the controversy for all its worth to distract from the fact he was a glass jaw picking on a little girl.

        These things go by me as, frankly, to me there is only one race. The human race.

        Edit: And trapped in edit hell. Something better really needs to be put in place.

        Last edited 20/04/18 8:43 pm

      It's historically been a slur against black people in America, implying that they come from the jungle, that they're uncivilised and closer to ape than human. It's not just the word, it's been cases of people making monkey sounds at black athletes, or throwing bananas at them. While most of the visible history of it has been against black people in America, it's also been used against other ethnicities. Recently against Brazilians as well.

        Interestingly the term marijuana has racist connotations in america as well.

      Calling black people monkeys. You don't see how that's racist? There's a long and sorry history of it.
      There was an international soccer match a few years back where fans threw bananas all over the field to upset the other team's star player.

    I had no idea calling someone a monkey was racist.

    I wonder if I can call someone a fish and find it on a racial slur database.

      Perhaps you should read some history on how African Americans were treated in history particularly the racial discrimination during the American Civil War era before making sarcastic remarks.

      Comments like your second make you look like a twat.

        Or maybe the guy is Australian and never really thought too much about the finer details of what Americans have been doing to each other?

        I do see his point and agree with it. Just how many cultures are we supposed to research and understand as an average person? What is insulting to a Korean, or a Belgian, or a Fin or a Mongol or a Tongan and so on? It's impossible to be across all of it. Which is where common sense needs to kick in, if you say something that's considered inappropriate without realising it they explain it, you apologise and don't do it again. Case over.

          Your reasoning does not apply to the situation in this article though.

          The guy was clearly using it as an insult meaning he clearly knew the meaning behind it. If he truly did not know the racial history behind it he would not have used it as an insult.

            I'm not talking about the gamer. I was talking about Jiggle Counter and your response to his post which seemed a bit overblown. If you ask a lot of Aussies (I assume you're an Aussie too) they'll probably say they had no idea it was a *racist* insult. I think it's unfair to assume that everyone in a culture should be aware of things like slurs in a *different* culture.

            I've called my nephew a monkey - because he has a habit of climbing on things. I've called people a gorilla because they were a big, knuckle-dragging brute. Neither of them were racist slurs.

              Based on the amount of times Aboriginal AFL players have been called monkeys by spectators i think its common knowledge the history behind the word when used to describe someone with darker skin

              And Jiggles comment was not about him being ignorant. It was a sarcastic comment attempting to undermine the genuine history behind the usage of the word.

                I never watch AFL so I was unaware of that. Like I said in a different part of the thread the first time I ever heard that monkey was a racist term was the Harbajan Singh-Andrew Symonds blow up. It's literally the only time I've ever heard the term described as racist (until this thread obviously). You're assuming everyone has the same experience/knowledge as yourself.

                Sure it was a sarcastic comment, but it doesn't mean Jiggles was aware that monkey was considered racist before, or have much of a knowledge of American history. (S)He'd have to answer that. But even though it's sarcastic it's still a valid question. Lots of animal words are used as insults without racist intent. Besides monkey and gorilla, it's not uncommon to hear people called sheep, goose, ass, pig, rat etc.

                It's unfair for someone to be called racist if it turns out that a term they use unwittingly is construed that way by someone else. How about treat everyone as adults and if *you* consider it racist tell them that. If they continue to use the term to you THEN they're racist.

              Oh an just to Ad, He had the word "F**king" infront of monkey. So his intent was pretty obvious.

                Again, not necessarily. For some people every second word is a swear word. I remember the big LANs I used to go to and the average counter-strike match would have made a sailor blush. Bear in mind this a 19 year old too.

                I had a listen to the clip and I honestly can't hear him saying it (for some reason it's really quiet even set to full volume). About the only words I could make out clearly was "Smoke".

                On a side note, have you read the twitter thread where he apologises? Regardless of whether you consider he apology good enough, or the comment he initially made accidentally or intentionally racist some of the comments directed against him in the thread are absolutely racist and many of them are far worse. Someone wished that he and his whole family were dead. I mean jeez.

      Woah! Just because I'm from a pacific nation, you're throwing around 'fish'. I'll have you know my country has lived off fishing for hundreds of years. Check your privilege Jiggle Counter!

      In my post further up I mentioned the word marijuana has racist connections, so you probably will.
      There are plenty of racist bird names, kaffer, the negro bird, gypsy bird, hottentot(derogatory south African slang for a particular tribe, even though it's a Swedish bird and completely unrelated to the lanuage)

      I'm going to keep going.
      No can do - from making fun of Chinese immigrants broken English
      Paddy wagon - paddy is slang for Irish
      Uppity - term used to describe black people who don't know their place.
      Hip hip hooray- come from hep hep hazaah. Used be be sung while killing Jews.
      You can go on for ever....

    I can understand how the different connotations words have between cultures could trip you up if you're not speaking in your native language. Calling someone a Dog in Indonesia is highly insulting, but Aussies call each other dogs all the time.

      I agree. I know the reasoning behind why it is offensive but still find it hard to actually perceive it as racist. Probably would be totally different if brought up somewhere like the US.

    'As a white person I don't agree that someone of another ethnicity is allowed to be upset at an insult that I don't find upsetting. There is a clear explanation of which terms people are allowed to be offended by in the White Man's Guide To Etiquette And Offense and it's a shame these ethnicities don't understand that due to their primitive cultures and lower intellectual capabilities. Any notion that people are allowed to have their own subjective definition of offense is just SJW pandering, and the suggestion that my inability to grasp this is due to the fact my privilege insulates me from the negative effects of speech is just Regressive Leftist hornswoggling. Also something something Freeze Peach.'

    ^Pretty much 50% of every.single Kotaku comments section whenever racial offense comes up. Granted, it's the same cluster of dudes each time, but even so. It's not like this is hard to figure out or anything.

    to the ppl saying calling someone a f*&king money isn't racial in any way, when was the last time you used the name 'monkey' to curse at someone?

    Not exactly the first curse name that comes to mind huh? unless theres more to it yeah?

      Maybe he wanted to say motherfucker and changed it to keep it kid friendly? Like people saying sugar or fudge to self-censor rude words?

      If the only insult you ever use is dickhead (for example) you need to expand your vocabulary :)

        No. No one ever calls someone else monkey to be PG

        Its obvious what the guy was attempting. I dont why you are doing your best to make this guy look innocent.

          Are you German? Is German your first language? All of the people ignoring the fact that this guy is speaking in a second language, and that the word is apparently completely inoffensive in his native tongue/culture, is pretty funny.

          Let me take another example - Swastikas in Buddhist temples. The fact that certain portions of the population have commandeered the swastika and attached negative connotations to it doesn't change the fact that to many it is a sacred spiritual icon rather than a nazi symbol. Appreciating context is important!

          Yes, the evil white man used to call people 'monkeys' as a derogatory term, but Germans didn't, and if a German uses it without appreciating the context then they should probably shouldn't be punished.

            Good points, that was what I was trying to say in a different post, but not as well articulated as yours.

            No im not german. German is not my first language. But it is my second (guten tag fraulein)

            Ive spent time in german (Both as a child and an adult)

            Not once have i heard a german person use the english word Monkey in the way you describe. If he was he would have yelled "Affe". Him saying it in english shows he knew what the meaning was behind it and was intending it to have maximum effect.

            But hey, Please do bend over backwards in an attempt to defend this guy.

    These'll be the only Monkees for me:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNcqV_dC_gE

    (That and Monkey Magic of course)

    I guess being Gen X, theres enough different usages and contexts of Monkey, particular in pop culture that Australia was exposed to in the 80s, that its got a different meaning here, which is why the Goodes thing was so bizarre given the history of our pop culture exposure.

    Alas for the Funky Gibbon, and Homer being a Babboon and all the other primate humour in pop culture that has nothing to do with ethnicity or skin colour.

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