REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — In honor of pride month, EA has announced that one of the crowd members in their long running FIFA franchise is gay.
“For too long, our sports games have featured absolutely zero representation of the LGBTQ community. FIFA is a global sport. A sport that transcends nation, race, and sexuality. Today, we’ve taken a massive step toward showing that in our game by featuring our first openly gay FIFA character: one of the crowd members seen in the background of some FIFA games,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson explained in an announcement.
Wilson then proceeded to go into replay mode during a game of FIFA, panned the camera into the crowd until stopping on an innocuous, particularly low-res man standing alone in the upper stands of the stadium.
“I would like to introduce you to Ted Burleson. He’s 47 years old and he loves two things: soccer and his gay husband George,” Wilson excitedly said over a static image of a low poly man in a white shirt, jeans, and holding a beer. “Ted has a story that will resound with many in the gay community. Although now a out and proud homosexual, it wasn’t always that way for Ted.”
“Ted had to overcome his heteronormative Christian upbringing and the expectations that came with it. In fact, Ted was actually married to a woman, with which he had two beautiful children. Despite loving his wife Tonya, things never felt totally right,” Wilson continued. “At the age of 32, Ted was done fighting and decided to live his truth. He came out to his wife, who was sad but supportive. Despite their marriage ending, they remain close friends. In fact, you can see Tonya standing with her new husband Gary.”
“They’re in an open relationship, which is also a huge first for the FIFA franchise,” Wilson said at the end of the announcement. “We put a lot of thought into Ted and his backstory. That’s how you know it’s really important.”
Longtime fans of the FIFA franchise praised the decision by EA to include Ted as the first gay character.
“FIFA? Oh yea that shit’s super gay,” said our 15-year-old cousin Joey when reached for comment.
As of press time, EA says they are adding a Ultimate Team card that unlocks a skin for Ted that makes him a lesbian named Tina for $14.99.