NHL 20 is going the extra mile to state that racists do not belong in the game’s community.
Hockey fans will be greeted with an important message every time they enter into NHL 20 from here on out. Earlier this week, EA Sports officially added a pop up banner to NHL 20 supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and stating that racism is not something that belongs in the game, period.
Since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May, many have spoken out in protest against police brutality and systemic racism against Black people. The hockey world has also done so, to varying degrees of success, but this amount of action from the league has been surprising, considering its silence on these topics before.
Of course, NHL 20 isn’t overseen by the league, but it is a major point of entry for fans and a game players themselves enjoy in their downtime. Earlier in the week, hockey fans started to see this pop up from EA Sports upon starting up NHL 20.
NHL 20, EA Sports places Black Lives Matter message in game
The statement reads:
"The deep rooted and systemic racial discrimination that is still unquestionably present towards the African-American/Black community is unacceptable. Racism, whether from an individual or an institution, should not exist in our society. We stand with all of our African-America/Black players, families, friends, colleagues and partners in our commitment to fighting racism and social injustice. Black Lives Matter."
EA Sports has taken a page out of Infinity Ward’s book with its recent Call of Duty games, which also added a message of support before their games for the Black Lives Matter community in recent weeks.
NHL 20, and the game’s previous incarnations, has had a racism problem for some time now with racist teams and player names often present in online games. EA Sports has since stated the company is now enacting harsher punishments for racists in their community, but time will tell if they are held to those standards.
Hockey still has a long way to go if it wants to expunge its systemic racism from the sport completely, but it’s still been good to see the community speak out in this manner in a way they never have before.
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