At RaceSpot TV and RaceSpot Live Events, we have a policy of not engaging in geo-politics and religion. We have directors, producers, commentators, participants and fans who watch our content from around the world, and we see ourselves as a truly global Esports broadcaster.
We recognise that the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine is one which has seen a number of sanctions and suspensions for Russia, including at time of writing removal from the SWIFT banking system, and the banning of participation in competition for Russian teams by FIFA and UEFA. We further recognise that within Esports there has been a number of actions taken towards teams who participate under the Russian flag, and a number of acts of solidarity towards Ukraine.
At RaceSpot TV and RaceSpot Live Events, we are against war. Period. We see no reason for the killing of any person, and we view all citizens of the world to be fundamentally equal, to be judged purely on their own individual contributions to society and the world. It is for this reason that we have a Fairness and Equality pledge, which applies to every individual whom works for us, with us, and as a third party. We do not believe in generalisations, and therefore feel it inappropriate to label every citizen of a country as ‘the same’.
With this in mind, we are saddened by the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and show solidarity towards all whom have lost their lives needlessly. We do not condone the killing or fleeing of innocent people, the destruction of property and communities, and certainly do not condone the actions of the Russian military, under orders from the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
We understand that there are many passionate Sim Racers both in Ukraine and Russia, and we welcome every Sim Racer onto track, and onto our broadcasts, so long as they abide by our fairness and equality policies. Sim Racing, along with other Esports provide an opportunity for people around the world to participate in events together virtually, and for many right now Esports is a way of escaping some of the domestic and international horrors that they may face. It is our belief that individuals should have the right to participate in our events regardless of nationality, and we will retain this stance until we are requested to change it by a simulation company with whom’s software we use.
Bearing in mind current developments, we have agreed to make the following changes to our broadcasts for the foreseeable future:
- Where a driver’s country / club is directly identified being from the Russian Federation via a simulation company, we will not be showing a nation flag on our broadcasts. Note, this information is often provided by a driver based on their billing address for the simulation company to which they are subscribed, and this may mean that the data may be factually incorrect. We can not adjust geo-locations of drivers within our events where location data is directly used due to the way data is pulled from the API. As iRacing lists both the Ukraine and Russia as Central Eastern Europe, there would be no impact on the majority of our broadcasts.
- We will have firm but constructive conversations with existing partners where a driver’s nationality / flag is to be displayed on a broadcast, via data provided to us, to determine the best course of action. Our default position is where a driver / team is directly identified as being from the Russian Federation via data provided to us, we will not be showing a nation flag on our broadcasts, and request that nation flags are removed from cars where this is a part of a competition.
In these cases, due to the sensitive nature of contracts, and the fact that we are unlikely to be protected in a Court of Law for cancelling an agreement based on this matter, we must accept the wishes of our clients, even if it goes against our wishes. We understand that in some cases a client taking a stance on this matter would be against their company / organisational policies, or doing so may not be possible for other operational reasons. We will make our position unashamedly clear, and will not accept new work from an existing client where a client requires the use of the Russian flag in our broadcasts without a bona-fide reason as to why this needs to be included whilst this conflict remains.
- partnership needs to be one based on mutual understanding of issues which as a set of companies we hold to be true and dear.
- We will provide opportunities for clients to propose, host and broadcast events of a fundraising manner for those affected by the conflict, specifically to support civilians, and access to food, water, medical supplies and education. Broadcasts must have a clear fundraising goal in mind, and support a charity / Non Governmental Organisation whose work specifically serves these purposes. Within these broadcasts, RaceSpot will refrain from entering into political / overly emotive discussion, and only discuss facts and opportunities for people to donate to specifically identified charities / Non Governmental Organisations.
- We will actively moderate chat and comments on our website, broadcasts, and where possible social media which is designed to inflame tensions relating to the conflict. We respect the right to free speech, however in line with our established policies, discussion around politics is banned from our broadcasts and associated content.
We hope this clarifies our position on the matter, and will update it in response to international guidance and advice, dependent on how the situation changes over time.
With kindest regards,
Wil Vincent MA BSc (Hons) FHEA
CEO – RaceSpot Live Events Limited
COO – RaceSpot Live Broadcasting