NBA 2K20 took down its online mode Thursday to honor the legacy of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died when a white police officer knelt on his neck, and it released a new in-game shirt.
What’s going on:
- NBA 2K20 — along with Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead, which are also owned by Take-Two — took down its servers for a couple of hours to honor Floyd. Users who entered online modes faced a screen that told them the online modes would go dark.
- But an in-game clothing store — often used for the MyPlayer mode, where you control a custom-made player — now includes three new Black Lives Matter shirts to celebrated the movement and the nationwide protests against racial injustice, police brutality and Floyd’s death.
- The shirts include Black Lives Matter, “I Can’t Breathe” and “Say Their Names.”
- According to Kotaku, gamers wore their shirts and marched around the virtual basketball courts together.
#NBA 2K20 stopped online play for a couple of hours and gave away free #BlackLivesMatter and I Can’t Breathe shirts to its players in honor of George Floyd ✊ pic.twitter.com/DyjuHutM8c— One Sports (@OneSportsPHL) June 5, 2020
- “I Can’t Breathe” shirts made an appearance in the real-life NBA season back in 2014 after the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after a chokehold was used by a police officer.
- Stars such as Derrick Rose, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant wore the T-shirts back in 2014 to honor Garner and spread a message about the Black Lives Matter movement.
- According to ESPN, James said at the time, “It’s more of a shoutout to the family, more than anything, because they’re the ones that should be getting all the energy and effort.”