This guy is an idiot, and deserves to get banned for bringing politics into Pokémon. You're not going to change the minds of mentally ill men at a tournament for a children's card game.
We've seen Pokémon bring in politics into itself over the years – their vocal support of movements like BLM, some kind of confusing (confused?) show of support for Ukraine in a war between Russia, etc. and there's this sort of passive-aggressive edge to it where it knows people will disagree but ignores/marginalizes any disagreement. People who disagree aren't necessarily going to go quietly and will read this instead as a situation where they almost necessarily
inject their counterviews into the discussion.
FWIW anyone sniffing around this comment and thinking "this isn't sufficiently pro- or anti-" is not going to get what they want. The people this person harassed were being harassed and he should be banned for harassing them. I am not going to say whether or not they're mentally ill – because I feel very strongly that a Pokémon card game forum (or league, or tournament) isn't the correct venue to have that kind of a conversation. I also feel very strongly that a Pokémon card game forum (or league, or tournament) isn't the correct venue to pretend that this isn't
a highly socially contested matter, with very strong emotions and feelings on both sides. Indeed, this is where the "pro-" side actually tends to lose me, because there's this consistent effort to pretend there isn't a problem, that people like this are isolated incidents and don't represent a view that a significant portion of our society holds, and out of hand dismiss it.
In other words, I think a lot of TPCi's actions over the last few years have contributed to exactly this sort of situation occurring, and it's a combination of everything I said above; namely, that it's passive-aggressive, bad faith, disingenuous to pretend a corporation dipping its toes into making political statements/voicing views on these matters wouldn't come back to bite them, and even if it does, it's not their fault because anyone who disagrees is wrong.
"There's no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism" is a phrase that's often been bandied about on the internet but for all the jokes it's a truism, and seems to be one that people either refuse to believe in, or want to negotiate with to be less true. In the past it was "a portion of proceeds from this sale will go to X" and that was fine (although there were definitely implications about whether this was a kind of 'whitewashing' of consumerism/moral licensing), and then "for every product you buy, another product will be sent to an impoverished country" which was fine (even if never actually true), and now it's developed into corporations voicing their political views on various matters, and I don't understand how people can't process that this wouldn't cause problems.
One of the targeted person in this article is quoted as saying "Pokemon is supposed to be an escape for us" and I completely understand and empathize with this view. For many, Pokémon is acting like an escape from various things in our life – general malaise, personal drama, financial difficulties, political frustration, whatever. The person who was banned disrupted those people's ability to enjoy the game as an escape by bringing elements of things they wanted to escape from into it. It would be nice to see TPCi start to do the same – stop pretending the things they voice support for aren't contentious issues, stop bringing them up into the franchise at all, because it undermines the utility of Pokemon as an escape for those who don't agree with those views.