Massive video game publisher Electronic Arts has pledged a sum of $1 million to various organizations fighting racial injustice including the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. The company has also promised to double-match employee contributions to organizations made within a certain timeframe and is providing its employees with an extra day off to be used for volunteering purposes. These actions are similar to other steps big companies in the gaming industry have taken in response to the unrest and protests across the United States following the death of George Floyd and others in the Black communities.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson shared a statement with employees which was later posted on the company’s site for the public to see that detailed EA’s plans for donations and more. Wilson called Floyd’s death “senseless and tragic” and acknowledged other lives lost before Floyd’s and said there still existed a “deep-rooted discrimination” towards the Black communities and African Americans.
In the immediate future, Wilson said EA will be donating $1 million to various organizations and detailed how employees could make their own contributions to have them double-matched by EA.
“We’re contributing $1 million to organizations dedicated to the fight for racial justice in the U.S. and against discrimination around the world,” Wilson said. “Beginning with the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and with more partners to come, we are deepening our support of organizations working to stop systemic racial injustice, fight discrimination and protect human rights in the U.S. and beyond. In addition to our company contribution, we’ll double match any funds that you donate to these and any other local organizations through our YourCause program during the month of June.”
Other steps include celebrating Juneteenth with an additional company-wide holiday. Employees will also be given an extra day each year to volunteer in communities.
“To that end, we’re launching a new program to give everyone in the company an additional paid day each year to apply to volunteering in your community,” Wilson continued. “With all of our employees around the world, that will represent more than 75,000 hours applied to the change we can make.”
EA recently opted to postpone its big reveal of Madden NFL 21 in response to the current situation in the United States. Other companies have taken similar steps in postponing their events until a later date.