FChamp Probably Should Have Known Better
American fighting games competitor Ryan “FChamp” Ramirez has been banned indefinitely by Capcom from all future Capcom-owned or operated esports tournaments events after he posted an insensitive tweet referencing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Earlier, Ramirez, who was the champion for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at EVO 2012, had posted a picture of a watermelon on Twitter with the hashtag “WatermelonLivesMatter”. He has since taken down the tweet, apologizing for its “very insensitive” content, while Capcom went ahead with the ban.
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) June 17, 2020
Afterwards, Ramirez went on Twitch to address the ban. He expressed support for Black Lives Matter and again acknowledged his tweet as an insensitive mistake; however, he denies that the tweet was racist.
“Definitely what I did was not right,” Ramirez said. “I’m not going to deny that. There will be no denial of anything of what I did was right. Right or wrong, sorry. I don’t think what I did was racist at all. I really believe that.”
Long video but this is My response to all of this https://t.co/ydy3tpfuBA
— FChampRyan (@fchampryan) June 17, 2020
Whether Ramirez tweeted out of racist intent or not, it is fact that watermelons have historically been employed as a racist trope against the African American/black community. Even aside of his tweet’s historical connotations, Ramirez’s disrespect of the Black Lives Matter movement and what it stands for comes across as highly inappropriate — at any time, but especially when the lives of African Americans/black Americans continue to be threatened even after weeks of widespread protests against racial injustice.
Ramirez has additionally been banned from East Coast Throwdown, another annual fighting game tournament.
From this moment on @fchampryan is no longer welcome to East Coast Throwdown
— East Coast Throwdown (@ecthrowdown) June 13, 2020