According to a report by Kotaku, Cyclops Athlete Gaming has fired their pro Tekken player Kani "Tanukana" Tani after she made controversial remarks about short men's human rights in a live stream on 15th February.
Tanukana also allegedly made backwards commentary about marginalised groups, including black people, older and small-breasted women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Tekken esports pro Tanukana claims short men don't have rights
Initially branded a rising star and promising esports athlete, Tanukana's latest opinions have seemingly derailed her gaming career. The Tekken pro reportedly said, "Men who are under 170cm [5 ft 7 in] don't have human rights," and added that they should consider getting surgery to make them taller.
According to a blog site, Tanukana also reportedly told chatters in a previous stream to kill themselves, branding them "trash" of society. She later apologised for her outburst on Twitter after many regarded her commentary as hate speech.
A Google Translate of her Japanese apology read, "I am very sorry to all the fans who support me on a daily basis, to all the sponsors such as Red Bull, and to my selfish remarks, which caused unpleasant feelings and a great deal of inconvenience."
日頃より応援してくださるファンの皆様、Red Bull様をはじめとするスポンサーの皆様、この度は私の身勝手な発言により、不快な思いと多大なるご迷惑をおかけしてしまい大変申し訳ございませんでした。— たぬかな (@kana_xiao) February 16, 2022
The Tekken star continued, "I take it seriously that my remarks during the [live stream?] are unacceptable and that my lack of awareness has led to it. There is no excuse for disappointing you in this matter."
"As a professional esports player and as a member of society, I deeply regret and apologise for betraying you," Tanukana concluded.
Kotaku notes that there was some confusion regarding the Japanese word for human rights, " jinken (人権) ", and a gaming jargon (of the same name) that referred to an in-game item or character. This confusion reportedly sparked a debate on Twitter over whether Tanukana's claim was intentional or not.
Tanukana allegedly made racist, anti-LGBTQ+ claims
However, a more recent report by PC Gamer highlighted that Tanukana had made several other controversial (and repulsive) remarks. According to a Twitter post by Zetsubouquet on 17th February, Tanukana allegedly said:
- Men under 170cm aren't human and should get surgery
- Women with bra cup size "A" are not worth being alive [watch clip]
- Women over 30 years old have rotten amniotic fluid
- Men who live with their parents aren't human
- Bald people are bald because they were evil in a past life
- The LGBTQ community is a gathering of mentally ill people
- Depression and black people can be cured if they give up being naive
- People in the low-income bracket should not be alive
Admittedly, I'd like to think that these disgusting claims are simply the result of misinterpreted Japanese-English translation; however, it does not seem to be the case based on the comments on the thread.
Unsurprisingly, Tanukana was dropped from her professional esports team two days later. A translated version of her now-former team's statement reads:
"This time, the inappropriate remarks of 'Tanukana' player who belongs to 'CYCLOPS athlete gaming' hurt the hearts of everyone who felt uncomfortable, and all the fans who support us. We deeply apologise for causing a great deal of inconvenience and concern to the sponsors and all related parties."
"As of February 17, 2022, we will cancel the player contract with 'Tanukana' player who belongs to 'CYCLOPS athlete gaming'. Inappropriate remarks and attitudes during the distribution of 'Tanukana' players on February 15, 2022, were not acceptable to us, and we decided to cancel the player contract."
"We recognise that any discriminatory or insulting acts, behaviours, or statements on SNS are not allowed, and we value diversity for all. In the future, we will strengthen the management system such as education and guidance of affiliated players and thoroughly prevent a recurrence."
This story has become a national news story in Japan. We will endeavour to provide updates as more information becomes available.
Featured image courtesy of Redbull Media.