Smart Omega team to undergo 'gender sensitivity' programs following controversy
MANILA -- Mobile Legends: Bang Bang player Grant Duane "Kelra" Pillas apologized anew for offensive remarks thrown at two MPL co-players and a few female ML:BB players over the weekend, as he is set to face sanctions set by the league and the team.
In a Facebook post, the Smart Omega Esports player said he acknowledged the weight of his words targeted at Blacklist International star duo Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna and Danerie John "Wise" Del Rosario, as well as his remarks on Thai team IDoNotSleep's Chareeny “Ramella” Ramella.
Kelra said these have resulted in actions "unbecoming of a professional player."
"Ipinaliwanag po sa akin kung gaano kabigat ang pagkakamali ko dahil sa mga salitang nabitawan ko. Inaamin kong hindi ko pinag-isipan bago ako nagsalita, at dahil doon, nag-resulta ito sa mga action at values na taliwas sa pagiging isang professional player," he said in a statement.
He apologized anew to OhmyV33nus and Wise, Ramella, and the female counterparts of Bigetron Esports in Indonesia.
"Naging immature at irresponsible ako sa mga sinabi ko. Dahil dito, humihingi po ulit ako ng tawad sa fans, sa organizers, sa team, at higit sa lahat, sa mga kapwa ko esports players," he said, acknowledging the team and league sanctions he expects to face.
Meanwhile, in an earlier statement, Omega Esports said it will ensure that their players will "reinforce respect and professionalism" after Kelra's controversy, adding that it will "not take this matter lightly."
Omega Esports said they "humbly accept" the sanctions on Kelra and the rest of the team following the remarks, saying it will coordinate with Smart for Kelra's gender-sensitivity and personality-development workshops.
The rest of the team pool will undergo the same program, Smart Omega added.
"We will ensure that all members go through the same program to foster a deeper understanding of inclusivity, and to reinforce respect and professionalism among our players and towards others. It is our responsibility to take care of our athletes by making sure that we provide a holistic development plan for them," Smart Omega said.
In a deleted video clip, Kelra was heard to have said Wise and OhMyV33nus should "B****** each other."
In another part of the video, Kelra was heard saying lewd remarks about Ramella and the entire female Bigetron Alpha squad.
As a response, Blacklist captain OhMyV33nus, who openly identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, called the comments distasteful, as he thanked the public for defending people targeted by the remarks and urged people to practice respect.
Ramella and the entire IDNS squad also condemned the remarks, saying, ""Sexual harassment is not okay. And should NEVER be okay. Doing nothing about it is also NOT okay."