SAMRIDDHA SAHA (Gl1tch_mast3r)
The death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the United States has sparked anti-racism protests across the world. The video exposed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Within nine minutes of obstructed breathing, Floyd lost consciousness and oxygen, eventually leading to his death. Even after Floyd lost consciousness, the police officer continued to kneel against Floyd’s neck until backup officers arrived. Despite outcries from bystanders to leave Floyd alone, Chauvin ignored the calls and cameras that were recording.The whole world has its eye on the United States right now. Protests and demonstrations are being held in every major city in America. Multiple gaming companies have released statements supporting both the Black Lives Matter movement and black communities amidst ongoing protests in the United States sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
Several game publishers posted on social media platforms in solidarity with the people of the United States with their statements in support of the community protesting against the cause. Not only did they made clear with their statement that they were against the practice of racism and that they were filled with remorse but also, made sure that the people who are protesting for the cause don't feel alone. To show support several gaming companies have also changed their social media pictures to black.
EA Sports was scheduled to formally announce Madden NFL 21 on June 1, but the developer has changed plans in response to recent events in the world. Not only that, but Xbox, Bethesda, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, and a number of other studios have responded as well, and Sony has now delayed its June 4 PS5 event.
Sony posted its message shortly before announcing a delay for the June 4 PS5 games event, explaining that "we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard." Explaining the decision, Sony said, "While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard." The PlayStation 5 event is likely to take the form of a pre-recorded showcase, which means it’s almost certainly already been filmed and is ready to show at short notice. Sony will no doubt be monitoring the news in America, to wait for an appropriate moment to debut the event without seeming insensitive to the current situation.
On the Xbox side of things, the company's main account shared and added to the statement issued by Microsoft. "Xbox stands together with our fans, creators, colleagues, friends, and the entire African American & Black Community against systemic racism and injustice," it adds. "We are proud to join with Microsoft in amplifying Black and African American voices."
EA Sports said in a statement on Twitter, "We stand with our African American / Black community of friends, players, colleagues, and partners. Our immediate attention is on actions we can take to drive change against the unjust treatment and systemic bias that is plaguing the nation and our world." The statement goes on: "We'll find another time to talk football with you. Because this is bigger than a game, bigger than sports, and needs all of us to stand together and commit to change."
Popular streamer and influencer Richard Tyler “Ninja” Blevins also shared his thoughts to his 5.8 million Twitter followers. He addressed the unfair arrest of a black news reporter, known as Omar Jimenez. His statement ends with his overall sentiments on the issue. “I stand with the Black community and all races. #JusticeForFloyd.”
Once his tweet went live, he received plenty of criticism as well as support from his followers. One person requested him to stop speaking about politics, to which Ninja responded, “This isn’t politics(;) this is human rights.”
On the side of esports teams, plenty of well-known organizations have also given their input on the movement. We expect and hope that more companies will add their support to the #BlackLivesMatter cause in various ways over the coming days, especially with more video game reveal events having been planned for the start of this month. We applaud all those that do take a stand on this matter.