ESPN has delayed a planned recap broadcast of the Aug. 2 Apex Legends tournament, citing sensitivity toward victims of three recent mass shootings in the United States.
In a statement provided to news outlets and ABC affiliates, it was revealed the sports coverage outlet would be postponing its planned broadcast of a recap segment covering the arena shooter’s recent tournament on ESPN 2.
“Out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the recent mass shootings, ABC will no longer air ‘EXP Invitational Apex Legends at X Games’ on Sunday, August 11, 2019 in the 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET/3:00-4:00 p.m. PT time period,” the statement read.
“Please contact your Station Relations Representative if you have any questions.”
The recap, meant to cover highlights from the tournament, will still be available for viewing on ESPN 3. The new date for its live T.V. broadcast on ESPN 2, meanwhile, has been tentatively moved to October.
The move follows a statement by U.S. president Donald Trump that “gruesome and grisley” video games help to radicalize mass shooters, resulting in the most recent mass shootings in the U.S. that left three dead in Gilroy, Calif., nine dead in Dayton, Ohio and 22 dead in El Paso, Texas.
In response, retailers and companies have attempted to distance themselves from violent video games.
In addition to ESPN’s pulling the above tournament, Walmart began asking employees to take down advertisements and demos of violent video games earlier this week, though they would continue to sell firearms.
However, the president’s claim and the moves made by companies come without any solid proof that video games do cause violent behavior, or that they were to blame for any of the most recent mass shootings across the country.