The publisher of the NBA 2K video game paused all online game activity for two hours Thursday in honor of George Floyd and his memorial service.
Online play was paused from 2-4 p.m. ET while Floyd's service took place in Minneapolis, and it was an incredible moment of support for the "Black Lives Matter" movement to end racism and police brutality.
The Neighborhood, a game mode where players can interact with one another, remained open and players were given access to free "Black Lives Matter" and "I can't breathe" T-shirts for their avatars to wear — players are normally required to buy clothing if they want to upgrade from the standard outfit the game gives you to start off.
NBA 2K paused online play for 2 hours and provided its players with free Black Lives Matter & I Can’t Breathe shirts today in honor of George Floyd.— ESPN (@espn) June 4, 2020
(via floyd_773/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/en68yTVuDI
This is beautiful. NBA 2K cancelled all online games for 2 hours and made black live matter shirts for the community for free. Everyone in the park is walking around protesting . #BLM Thank you so much @NBA2K pic.twitter.com/V4VSa50WOa— #400K CEO (@MarioHTXX) June 4, 2020
"We continue to be inspired and heartened by our community members' creativity in expressing themselves during difficult times," 2K said in a statement to ESPN. "As such, we wanted to offer the Neighborhood as a space to gather and connect for those who found it a meaningful and helpful outlet."
The video game also announced it would be donating $1 million to expand its mission to help fight racism and inequality in black communities across the world.
2K's donation and halt to play comes after Floyd, an African-American man, died last week after he was violently apprehended by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the incident recorded on video by a witness.
The 46-year-old Floyd was pinned to the ground by Chauvin, who then proceeded to kneel on his neck, preventing Floyd from breathing. Floyd pleaded for his life and told Chauvin he couldn't breathe, but Chauvin refused to move, as the video showed.
Floyd was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Chauvin was arrested last Friday on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On June 3, Chauvin's charge was upgraded to second-degree murder, and three other now-former officers who were on the scene are facing charges.
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