I guarantee I could find numerous studies about the actual psychological harm that can arise from being called a slur for your race/gender/sexuality. The amount of suicides alone is incredibly telling.
Hate Speech is incredibly damaging and pervasive in the culture and should be treated just the same in my opinion.
An incredibly well thought out response. I’ll attempt to respond the best I can. I will note, some of this will be anecdotal reasoning.
To your first point, I find there is nothing to counteract, it is simply a statement of fact. I believe everyone is in agreement to this point, so far.
Moving to the second point, I will clarify that my intent for “all” was referencing places like pug groups, but majority-RGL players would be an acceptable differentiation. The most particular of places I feel this is necessary is the “public-private” pug groups that are generally just based around the divisions of the League. I would move to classify them under the same basis of scrims being affected, as due to a players desire to improve, many will undoubtedly seek outside practice and come into contact with this layer of toxic behavior that is undesirable. This can either portray RGL in a damaging light as you mentioned, or players will just forget it and exist without it, thereby limiting their exposure to improvement. I personally mute every pug server I’ve joined due to this issue, but due to the fact this has been the only viable way for me to practice in high level games, I have had to deal with it. In addition, I would also like to give my personal view that while a specific individual may not be the target of harassment, using a slur becomes indirect harassment or an attack on a person’s race/sexuality/gender/etc by virtue of seeing or hearing it.
My issue here is that, in “private” discords such as team discords or pug discords, offenders are harassing people who do not wish to associate themselves with them, but are forced to do so due to the current circumstances. All the while, RGL could be doing more to influence the community in a positive light and continue to create an inclusive atmosphere, even in it’s outer circle. By choosing to take the risk and use hate speech around others, you would have to trust that these people either accept your thinking and agree, or else you would be encouraged to keep quiet if you wished to continue playing TF2 for RGL, who takes the most active stand (currently) against such hate.
To your third point: By signing up for an account on RGL, you implicitly agree to follow all rules they have instituted in the guidelines, or else you would be removed from the service. If the rules are changed to state that it is not acceptable in private discords and is reportable by players, by signing up to an RGL account you would implicitly agree to that stipulation. Anyone who continues to play after the rule is changed would implicitly agree to that stipulation.
For the fourth point: I spoke about this in my discussion of your 2nd point, but to reiterate, both are equally potential responses that are negative reactions to something that, honestly, could just not have a place in the community anymore if we so choose.
For the last point: There are businesses all over the world that are allowed to ban entire swathes of religions/genders based purely on who they are. I could go downtown right now and say I was a muslim or from Iraq for instance, and go to a mom-n-pop store and be barred from entry and I would have 0 legal recourse against them. My freedom of speech was not infringed on, but I was refused service. I was not free from “punishment” by this private business for what I said. I was still subject to their rules if I wanted entry into their establishment.
In any case, I appreciate your discussion and arguments greatly in contrast to half of this threads meaningless memeing.