EA was set to reveal its first look at Madden NFL 21 today, but has decided to postpone the debut in solidarity with protesters around the world.
In a statement on social media, the team behind the annual football sim said they're shifting their attention to immediate actions they can take to help drive change throughout the world. The full statement can be read below.
“Tomorrow, we had committed to celebrating Madden NFL 21 with you, but we’re not going to do that now. 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 all of us need to stand together and commit to change.”
The company is just the latest in a long line of brands showing their support for the Black Lives Matter protests now happening around the world following the most recent deaths of black people by police officers. In particular, it was George Floyd's death, caught on video, that has sparked a national outrage and international movement bringing people to march in the streets demanding change. Floyd was restrained by an officer kneeling on his neck for nine minutes, during which time Floyd plead for his life, saying things like "I can't breathe." The incident led to Floyd's death in police custody.
It seems EA understands the time is not right to promote its video game, which appears quite trivial in the grand scheme of things right now. Interestingly, the Sony PS5 games reveal event scheduled for this Thursday, June 4, remains scheduled for now. This morning, company executive Shuhei Yoshida shared the reveal event again and reminded people how they can tune in this week. Those plans may still change if the protests continue, but for now, it seems like Sony is moving on as scheduled.