WotC bans seven cards due to racist overtones, promises review of all cards

The 'Magic: The Gathering' card "Invoke Prejudice" from the set 'Legends' is one of seven that have been all but removed from the game due to racial overtones. (WOTC)

Seven classic Magic: The Gathering cards get the axe due to cultural sensitivity.

Wizards of the Coast is reviewing every card in the game's 27 year history with plans to remove from the game any and all the company considers to be racist or offensive.  So far, seven such cards have been identified and removed from the game for anything other than collectibility.

The company made the announcement via Twitter:

There is no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else. For Magic, our first step will be to start with this change today. There's much more work to be done. Read here: https://t.co/inkf5jlb9D

— Magic: The Gathering (@wizards_magic) June 10, 2020

The seven cards the company has all but wiped from the game thus far are:

  • Jihad, likely due to its definition as "a holy war undertaken as a sacred duty by Muslims."
  • Crusade, for reasons similar to Jihad.  Crusade is defined as "any of the military expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Muslims."
  • Imprison, which Magic Untapped is assuming is due to the card's artwork which depicts a person of color being, well, cruelly imprisoned.
  • Cleanse, supposedly due to its ability to "destroy all black creatures."
  • Pradesh Gypsies, due to the term "gypsy" being a slur for the Romani people.
  • Stone-Throwing Devil, also reportedly due to the term being a slur (though we could find to research to support that theory).
  • Invoke Prejudice, largely due to the card's artwork (which depicts persons who bare a close resemblance to members of the racial hate group Klu Klux Klan).  The card's artist, Harold McNeil, is considered to be a white supremasist.

Wizards of the Coast might not stop with these seven cards, however, as the company has vowed to comb through the game's entire catalog for cards that may possibly be considered offensive or hateful.

"We are starting a review of every card we have printed," the company says via Twitter.  "This first pass isn't meant to be an exhaustive catalog of every problematic card in Magic’s history, and we will continue to take actions on similar cards in the future."

All seven cards, along with any future cards the company sees fit to remove for racial sensitivity reasons, will be be banned in all sanctioned tournament play.  Furthermore, the cards are being removed from Gatherer, Wizards of the Coast's online Magic: The Gathering card database.  Replacing those card images will be the following statement:

"We have removed this card image from our database due to its racist depiction, text, or combination thereof. Racism in any form is unacceptable and has no place in our games, nor anywhere else."

Some online Magic retailers, such as Magic Untapped partner TCGPlayer, have also removed the cards from their storefronts and listings. 

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.