After George Floyd, Many in the Gaming Community Say #BlackLivesMatter

A sign that change is happening slowly but surely.

Over the last week, riots all over the United States have emerged in reaction to the death of George Floyd. On May 25, white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, even after Floyd kept saying he couldn’t breathe. Floyd later died in police custody.

The incident occurred in Minnesota but has resonated all over the country. Floyd’s tragic death is only the latest in a long line of unjust deaths at the hands of police brutality—a systemic issue that disproportionately affects the black community. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people and were 24% of those killed in 2019 despite being only 13% of the population.

Various figures in the gaming community — from individual people to esports organizations — have stepped up to support #BlackLivesMatter, recognize the riots as the language of the unheard, and stand against systemic racism.

Top streamers like Jacksepticeye, Ninja, Mtashed, and Gothalion have spoken up.

Designer and Developer Catt Small offered some practical advice and resources.

Famous personalities like Malik Forté, Gamer President Ace Watkins, Jonathan Larsson, and Marshmello, who hosted the first Fortnite concert, have also tweeted on the events.

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Esports teams like The Overwatch League’s Florida Mayhem, Los Angeles Valiant, Washington Justice, and Toronto Defiant have also chosen to publicly stand with Black Lives Matter. Atlanta Reign has retweeted in solidarity, as well.

After the publishing of this article, the Los Angeles Gladiators published a statement of support for the movement, as well.

Call of Duty League team Minnesota RØKKR has also released a statement of support for George Floyd and all communities affected by racism and violence.

ASTRO Gaming has published a lengthy statement of support.

After this article was published, Twitch tweeted a statement in support of Black Lives Matter.

Developers Riot Games and Summerfall Studios have also committed statements of solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Publisher Annapurna Interactive has tweeted a thread of official support.

In an admirable statement, Electronic Arts has announced the cancelation of its plans to showcase Madden NFL 21 on June 1. It is choosing to instead focus on standing in support with the Black community and against racial injustice.

Latinx in Gaming has also declared solidarity.

Sony has come out in support of Black Lives Matter. “Actions always speak louder than words. And we’re working hard to make sure we at Sony are doing more than just stating we are allies. Right now, we want to use our platform to spread information & support. Please send links, resources, or other helpful information our way, and we’ll share them. When we all know more, we can do more,” stated the brand in follow-up tweets.

Bethesda has also tweeted an image with text of support.

Regarding the importance of game development companies coming out to support black people and people of color right now, Danny Peña from Gamertag Radio excellently summarizes it in the following clip.

We hope to see the number of figures and organizations who come out in support of Black Lives Matter and justice to grow. We also hope the gaming community will continue to support black people and people of color when they aren’t trending or dying. There is a better, more just world possible — and it starts with us demanding it.

Black and POC-led gaming organizations you can support:

Here are some black and people of color gaming organizations and communities you can always give your support to.

Spawn On Me, the industry’s definitive podcast that spotlights people of color. You can watch their incredibly important stream regarding this week’s events above.

Black Girl Gamers, an organization dedicated to uplifting the voices of black women in gaming. The organization will have an online summit on June 13.

Black Girls Code, which is dedicated to empowering black girls and girls of color to code and become the tech marketplace builders of today and tomorrow.

I Need Diverse Games, an inclusivity organization dedicated to diversifying the landscape of video games.

Black Girl Nerds, not gaming-specific but nonetheless dedicated to covering pop culture from the perspectives of nerdy black women.

Game Devs of Color Expo, an event (which will be going virtual this September!) organized to highlight POC game developers and provide a forum to learn, connect, and support the community.

The Cookout, a safe space for content creators of color that pushes for inclusivity on all streaming and gaming platforms.

Organizations for the cause that you can donate to:

If you can’t go out to protest, especially in the age of COVID-19, here are some places you can donate to if you have the means. Even a dollar helps.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund has asked that, due to the overwhelming support, donations be made to organizations like:

The official George Floyd Memorial Fund.

The Bail Project.

Black Visions Collective.

Reclaim the Block.

North Star Health Collective.

Louisville Bail Fund.

Brooklyn Bail Fund.

Atlanta Solidarity Fund.

Fund for Black businesses affected during the May 29 protest.

A thread with more funds you can donate to.

…and more resources here. (As noted, Shaun King is not among them.)

Resources to help, including crisis lines:

Here’s a publicly sourced “resources masterlist” for those in need. While not entirely focused on protesting and protecting yourself from police violence, it includes place to reach out if you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide and self-harm, domestic abuse, grief, and really just too many painful things to list off here. Big thanks to Aiden Strawhun for curating this list for a while now.

Other ways to be an ally:

Here are other ways through which you can fight for the cause.

Read a helpful thread. And another one.

Don’t share photos or videos of black bodies being brutalized, or of protesters so that they are not easily identified by law enforcement.

Text FLOYD to 55156 and sign the petition.

Use this incredible and long Google document with links to various petitions, even more funds you can donate to, ways to educate yourself on supporting protesters (or supporting yourself as one with this medic guide), and more.

Use your platform to speak out. Educate your racist family members and friends. Protest safely. Stand against racism and injustice.

We hope that one day, there is justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and every black person whose life has been robbed by the police, caught on film and otherwise.

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Natalie Flores

Natalie is Fanbyte's Featured Contributor, with bylines at places like VICE, Polygon, PC Gamer, Paste Magazine, and more.

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