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ESPN and ABC have delayed the broadcast of an Apex Legends tournament that was set to air this weekend, a decision ABC says was made out of respect to those impacted by last week’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
An email shared by Rod Breslau on Twitter notes the delay, and the decision was confirmed by sources speaking to Bloomberg shortly after. The decision sees the ESPN broadcast planned for this weekend pushed into October, though the event will still be up on digital sources this weekend as planned.
It’s not uncommon for media organizations to trim violent content from their schedules following tragedies like this. However, it is worth noting that this particular alteration comes as politicians in the United States have publicly blamed video games for fostering a culture of violence in discussions about these recent mass shootings.
That includes comments from US President Donald Trump blaming video games for “glorification of violence” in society, despite studies that have found no link between games and aggression as well as no similar correlation in other countries.
As Bloomberg points out, members of the game industry have spoken out against that accusation as well, highlighting a tweet from NRG Esports co-founder Andy Miller that argues: “Blaming video games is a ‘look over there’ move instead of a ‘look at ourselves’ reflection."
Walmart also told its staff to remove displays that feature gun violence this week, including video game demos, advertisements, and events that “promote combat style or third-person shooter games” as well as videos that feature guns in the context of hunting. The August 3 shooting in El Paso took place at a Walmart store.