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Falcons owner Arthur Blank not picking up the sticks anytime soon, dismisses competitive gaming

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You can count Arthur Blank out of the esports phenomenon.

The Atlanta Falcons owner told The Athletic on Friday he was not a fan of competitive video-game playing and already passed on a chance to invest in the sport.

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“[My] own personal view, and this is a personal view, is that sitting in front of one of these electronic video game kind of things, where you have to develop the skill set for x number of hours a day, is just not in keeping with what I think is the best part of healthy young mind growing up,” Blank said.

“I remember the example was that when a company came in and made their presentation, one of the slides was a young man who may have been … maybe 11, 12 years old, made, I don’t know, some incredible amount of money, something like 500,000 bucks — just awful, awful amount of money. But they were clear he was practicing nine, 10 hours a day. And so I said to myself, ‘Listening to this, do I really want to invest in a business and own a business that is going to encourage behavior that I wouldn’t want to encourage in my own children?’ And the answer is no.”

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Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, competitive gaming has gained even more popularity. EA Sports, which owns the “Madden” series, has competitive gaming and 2K Sports, which runs “NBA 2K,” even has its own league specifically for gamers.

Blank made clear that it was only his opinion.

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“I’m not being critical of somebody else, you know, they make their own decision for their own reasons and their own set of values,” he said. “And beyond, and maybe, some aspects of this, somebody could argue with me and take a different point of view.”

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