EA Sports Delays Madden NFL 21 Announcement: 'This Is Bigger Than a Game'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 31, 2020

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana (L) plays the new EA Sports Madden 13 game as head of EA Sports Andrew Wilson (R) looks on after announcing all-new Kinect voice functionality for the new EA Sports games at the Microsoft Xbox E3 2012 media briefing in Los Angeles on June 4, 2012. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the video game industry's biggest event, runs from June 5-7.    AFP PHOTO/ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
ROBYN BECK/Getty Images

EA Sports planned to provide a "first look" into Madden NFL 21 on Monday, but the video game developer will put a hold on those plans in light of nationwide protests in response to the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Madden NFL 20 @EAMaddenNFL

An official statement from EA SPORTS https://t.co/MKdgJjvKJB

Per Grace Hauck and Dennis Wagner of USA Today, video captured a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, subduing a prone Floyd on a Minneapolis street by pressing a knee into the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd called for help but soon felt silent and stopped moving.

The reasons for the protests run deeper than Floyd's death, with Greg Jackson of Heal Charlotte explaining, per Amir Vera and Paul P. Murphy of CNN.com.

"You have to remember that they ain't mad at one situation," Jackson told WCCB. "It's systematic change that needs to happen."

This year has also notably seen the death of Breanna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, and Ahmaud Arberya 25-year-old black man, in Louisville, Kentucky, and South Georgia, respectively.

John Cassidy of the New Yorker described scenes in cities nationwide Saturday:

"In Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, Dallas, Oakland, and other cities, there were violent clashes between police and protesters, which left at least two people dead, businesses looted, and local politicians combining appeals for calm with expressions of fury. In Washington, D.C., Secret Service agents scuffled with demonstrators outside of the White House, as Donald Trump and other officials were locked down inside."

Ultimately, the first look for Madden NFL 21, which will feature NFL MVP and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on the front cover, will have to wait.

The Madden NFL 21 release date has not been officially announced.