ESPN and ABC have cancelled plans to broadcast the Apex Legends EXP Invitational on Sunday, citing respect for the victims of recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, as reasons.
ESPN and ABC has made the decision not to air the TV broadcast of the XGames Apex Legends EXP Invitational that was scheduled for this weekend, in response to the recent mass shootings, according to an ABC Affiliate TV station source pic.twitter.com/6BMwdbk93t— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 8, 2019
The decision comes less than a week after mass shootings took place less than 24 hours apart in El Paso and Dayton, in which at least 31 people were killed.
Public figures as prominent as President Donald Trump have drawn connections between digital and real world violence. In a White House address on the shootings, President Trump called for an end to the glorification of violence in American society.
"This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace," the President said.
The video game industry has largely condemned President Trump's remarks. The Entertainment Software Association released a statement citing gaming statistics in defense of the industry.
"More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games," the organization said, "and billions of people play video games worldwide. Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S."
Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts have yet to comment on the decision from ESPN and ABC.
H/T Rod Breslau; Photo courtesy of Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts