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Sony issues a controversial ban for offensive PSN ID

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Picture of the Sony PSN blue background with white symbols
Sony - PSN

Sony have banned a PSN user for an offensive username, despite the latter not realising it. The player in question bore the name "kike_0615" which could definitely be offensive for Jewish players, but also not, depending on how you read it.

PSN's service was in need of an ID changing feature for a long time and it's starting to show. Enrique, a player from Mexico was banned for using his nickname as a PSN ID. If you ever watched a movie, a TV show or even have Spanish or Mexican friends and acquaintances, you would know that "Kike" or "Quique" are common nicknames for people named Enrique. Both are pronounced as "kee-kay" but unfortunately, the former takes on a whole different, and offensive meaning if pronounced differently.

Pronouncing it as an English speaker would result in a slur for Jewish people that originated at some point at the start of 20th century. Someone Enrique met online may have taken offense to the name and reported him, but Sony outright banned the player with no chance to explain himself or change the ID.

The player kept contacting Sony's support and supervisors, but all of them allegedly said they couldn't and wouldn't do anything for the moment. Considering Sony's PSN ID change beta has some rather rough side effects, it is no wonder support couldn't quite help Enrique right now.

Then again, the fault is neither on Enrique for using a nickname he had since he was a child nor on the player who took offense to what looked like a slur. That particular word was not filtered out and the service let the user pick that particular name. On the other hand, simply unbanning him now could offend more people down the road.

SIEPromotional image for MLB The Show 18MLB The Show 18 by Sony

To add salt to the wound, one Redditor pointed out that MLB 18 The Show was actually developed by SIE San Diego and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Why does it matter? Well, the Los Angeles Dodgers are a team that has a player named Enrique "Kike" Hernandez on their roster and he is in a game developed by Sony.

The company used the exact same nickname they banned Enrique for. They didn't even use "Enrique" in the roster, going simply for "Kike".

Sony has kept silent so far, and Enrique's Reddit post has been up for 12 hours at the time of writing. It remains to be seen how or whether the company will resolve this issue.

UPDATE: We have contacted Sony asking for comment and will update this article further once we have a reply.

UPDATE #2: The story wrapped up with a happy ending. Sony revoked the ban without forcing Enrique to change his PSN ID. On the other hand, he stated he will do so on his own volition, as soon as the feature becomes available, in order to avoid involuntarily offending other players.