EA has taken to social media to announce it is delaying the reveal of Madden NFL 21, the reason behind this being the US protests against police brutality. More specifically, EA states that the issues of systematic racism, bias, and injustices are much more important things to focus on rather than a sports game.
An official statement from EA SPORTS pic.twitter.com/MKdgJjvKJB
— Madden NFL 20 (@EAMaddenNFL) May 31, 2020
The protests have spread through the US and around the globe following the killing of George Floyd. He died after police officer Derek Chauvin restricted Floyd’s breathing by placing his knee across Floyd’s neck, despite protestations that Floyd could not breathe. Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
George Floyd’s death was the latest in a long line of killings of black individuals by police through heavy handed approaches, and it seems to have been the spark that set off a powder keg. As the protests have spread, cities across the US have put curfews in place though this has not stopped confrontations between police and protestors, with many more instances of the police riling up protestors or using violence without provocation being recorded over the last week.
On one hand it is good to see a major company stand up and put its support behind a movement that is calling out the issue of racism and police brutality. However, some cynics may wonder why EA had to make the announcement while drawing attention to one of its products. While the marketing push has pretty much been delayed it is a way for people to still be talking about the game. And reporting on it…
It is likely EA will now wait until EA Play Live on June 11th to showcase Madden NFL 21 along with FIFA 21 and other games it has in the pipeline for PS5 and Xbox Series X.