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EA has delayed its NFL 21 reveal in support of Black Lives Matter protests
Games firms come out in support of activist movement
Electronic Arts has delayed a planned Madden NFL reveal in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Protests have been held in cities across the US this weekend, sparked by the death of African American George Floyd while in police custody, with many leading to riots.
Several games firms have Tweeted in support of the protests, including The Last of Us Part 2 studio Naughty Dog, Doom publisher Bethesda and PlayStation parent Sony.
In a statement published on Sunday, EA said it would hold its NFL 21 reveal at a later date, “because this is bigger than a game.”
“Tomorrow, we had committed to celebrating Madden NFL 21 with you, but we’re not going to do that now,” it wrote.
“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.
“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.”
In a strongly-worded statement of its own, Sony said that being silent about the violence and racism Black people experience was “being complicit.”
“We stand in solidarity today and every day with the Black community,” it said. “But actions always speak louder than words. And we’re working hard to make sure we at Sony are doing more than just stating we are allies.”
Sony-owned game studio Naughty Dog added that “now is not the time for any of us to be silent. For too long have too many suffered under a systemic problem in America.” It added: “Now is the time for all to do our part and end anti-Black racism and violence.”
Naughty Dog said that many of its employees were donating to national and local Black American causes. According to The Last of Us Part 2 designer Neil Druckmann, Sony had matched his donations.
The Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda also tweeted a message of support, stating: “Together we stand united with Black communities to listen and speak up against inequity, oppression and racism. Not just now, but always.”