As Americans saw protests break out across the country in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, brands began to take to social media. The fallout for popular clothing makers, game developers, and celebrities who fail to use their platform right now can be critical. There are a lot of things to give EA flack about, but right now is the time to give some major props. EA has decided to delay their Madden 21 reveal in solidarity with the protests occurring across the country.
EA Decides to Delay the Madden 21 Reveal
Image Credit: EA
Sometimes, we find ourselves hyper-critical of brands and companies in the wake of social injustice. After all, many of the companies at which we spend our money align themselves with the dollar over the demonstrater. Something that has become commonplace over the past few years is for brands to come out and share a message of solidarity, but EA is taking it one step further. June 1st would have been the day of the Madden 21 reveal, a digital event teased back in the Inside Xbox event in May.
Rather than go on with things as scheduled, the company decided to postpone the event in a well-articulated statement of solidarity. I’ll be the first to admit this move is likely just as much PR strategy as it is actual social positioning. Coming out in contrast to systems of oppression is literally the bare minimum. That said, I don’t think a company like Madden necessarily has to do something like this purely out of self-interest. They purposefully came out on a side of this ongoing issue, which is worth some credit.
Brands Choosing Sides Does Mean Something
Image Credit: EA
Overall, I would never look to a brand or corporation to lead the conversation on race in America. It’s not my job to sit here and make statements about this past weekend’s events either. Black men, women, and non-binary leaders and activists are doing that quite well. As a white man, it’s crucial I follow their lead rather than add my voice to the ring. But, good on EA, who surely has shareholders, partners, and customers who would disagree with their position. I learned early on in the Ferguson protests and research for my Graduate Thesis something important that many forget. People who stand against everything you stand for consume the same entertainment media that you do.
In short, people will boycott purchasing Madden 21 over this move. Agitated individuals are already responding to EA on Twitter with negative remarks. EA knows this, and still decided to speak out in the way they did. No, EA is not going to be a catalyst for change and progress; no company or corporation can take up that role. Instead, they made a clear statement about the importance of Black Americans’ lives and rights. That’s worth mentioning and recognizing at a time where many are staying silent or impartial.
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Featured Image Credit: EA on Twitter (@EA)
Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Shepherds. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.