Tekken Pro Tanukana Loses Sponsors After Mocking Short Men

09:12 PM February 18, 2022

Japanese Tekken pro fighter Kana “Tanukana” Tani lost sponsors and got fired from Japanese esports team Cyclops Athlete Gaming (CAG) after making a snide remark on short men in a livestream. 

Tanukana was a rising star in the male-dominated esports scene. Not many can do what she does, and she was good at it. The 29-year old professional Tekken player has many years of competitive gaming under her belt, and has more to offer. 


However, in a stream on February 15, Tanukana said “Men under 170 cm (5 ft 6.9 in) don’t have human rights” (translated). For context, the average male height in Japan is 170.8 cm (5 ft 7.2 in) and the average male height in the Philippines is 156.4 cm (5 ft 1.5 cm). She said these men should look into bone-lengthening surgery.

The Japanese word for “human rights” is jinken, but as a gaming jargon, jinken is referred to a “necessary item” everyone needs. This resulted in a debate whether this was just a poor choice of words. Nevertheless, Tanukana quickly went on Twitter and issued an apology in a now-deleted Tweet. In it, she said that it was a poor expression of her love of tall people, and that the harmful remark was not her intention. 


The informal apology was taken down, seeing as Japan’s esports is more strict than most places in the world. Players even need licenses to compete professionally. According to the Japan Esports Union, a pro-gamer requires the self-awareness of being a professional. Whatever the real situation was, Tanukana is now in hot water amidst Japan’s strict esports scene.

A more formal apology came in the form of a statement from the Osaka-based Cyclops Athlete Gaming that read:

“We’ve confirmed that on February 15, Tanukana, who is a member of Cyclops Athlete Gaming, made an improper remark on a stream. Regarding this matter, we would like to offer a deep apology to her fans, sponsors, and supporters.”

This was followed by a formal apology from Tanukana, saying “As an esports athlete, and a member of society, I deeply regret and apologize for [my actions].”


Of course, all this drama and controversy led to her big sponsors like Alienware and Red Bull being quietly removed from her page. In an attempt to perhaps dis-associate themselves with the drama, Cyclops Athlete Gaming has also let go of Tanukana.


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TAGS: Tanukana, Tekken, tekken 7
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