Black Lives Matter Tributes Appear in Call of Duty and NBA 2K20
The world is reacting to the death of George Floyd. Black Lives Matter protests are going on in countries around the globe. In particular, a few games have stood up and taken a stance, like NBA 2K and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with Black Lives Matter tributes.
Call of Duty has officially delayed their upcoming seasons across Modern Warfare/Warzone and Mobile on top of that. While we’re glad to see that Call of Duty is taking steps to ban racist names from their online modes, that’s something that should have been happening from the very start.
What has the gaming community done to say “enough is enough?”
Black Lives Matter
Whenever a Modern Warfare player logs in, they will see a very important message: “Black Lives Matter. Our community is hurting. The systemic inequalities our community experiences are once again center stage. Call of Duty and Infinity Ward stand for equality and inclusion. We stand against the racism and injustice our Black community enures. Until change happens and Black Lives Matter, we will never truly be the community we strive to be.”
That’s certainly true. But what the say and do will be telling. Call of Duty saying they’re a part of the Black Lives Matter movement is all well and good. We need to hear what they intend to do to make inclusion a reality and have black voices heard.
NBA 2K is helping to create a virtual protest as well. NBA 2K has three free Black Lives Matter shirts in-game for players to wear on their avatars. They read “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breath” and “Say Their Names.” There is also an In Memoriam: George Floyd, Black Lives Matter #BLM.
Players from around the world crowded together in protest in the neighborhood hub world of NBA 2K to say that Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter posters adorn the buildings and players wore the free shirts to show that they stand in unity against this injustice.
I’m just glad that NBA 2K did the classy thing and gave them away. They aren’t always known for their business practices, after all. Many companies, from all corners of the world, have offered a tribute to spread the message of Black Lives Matter, not just NBA 2K20. Sony delayed their PS5 reveal event, Rockstar shut down GTA Online and Red Dead Online for two hours, just to name a few.
Other companies have offered words of support such as Wizards of the Coast. LEGO offered billions in dollars of support. From Ben & Jerry’s to Reebok, people around the planet are coming together with a voice of support. Listen to them, hear their stories and struggles. Their voices need to be heard. Black Lives Matter. I may not understand their exact struggle, but I’m willing to listen and do my part.