“Black Lives Matter”, “I Can’t Breathe”, and “Say Their Names”
Take Two companies like 2K and Rockstar Games have done small gestures in the wake of George Floyd’s death last week. Online services to their games were shut down for a couple of hours in honor of Floyd’s life. Whether or not those actions are meaningful is up for debate, but 2K is doing a little more within the NBA 2K20 community. Yesterday, after their online services resumed, NBA 2K20 players were greeted by a message of memoriam to George Floyd. Players could also pick up a number of free cosmetics for their in-game avatars to wear.
The three designs have slogans that are popular among the demonstrators protesting police brutality all across the United States; Black Lives Matter, I Can’t Breathe, and Say Their Names. They are all black shirts with white text, just like the the Black Lives Matter logo designs. What’s even more powerful is that players have taken to the digital streets of The Neighborhood. The Neighborhood is a hub for players to gather, play basketball, and other games and activities. Marches have been lead in-game with players wearing their Black Lives Matter apparel and holding up their crossed arms.
It is unclear just how long these free cosmetics will be available in the online store Swags. Earlier in the year NBA 2K20 also paid tribute to NBA superstar Kobe Bryant after his death. NBA players have worn I Can’t Breathe shirts in protest of police brutality after the killing of Eric Garner as well. We can only hope that there are no more tragedies on the horizon for communities to have to pay tribute for. While these are small gestures, they can help online communities like this one in healing and feeling united in their grief, frustration, and hope for the future. NBA 2K20 is available now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Have you participated in any online march or protest? Let us know in the comments below.