Respawn Entertainment is acknowledging the importance of Black History Month with a new iconic badge.
The bold black and gold badge features the Black Lives Matter symbol of a raised fist. The symbol was first brought to life by the Black Panther Party, which was formed in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The salute between members soon became a gesture of strength and solidarity.
The Black Lives Matter movement, co-founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi in 2013, started using the fist as its symbol in 2014 after Michael Brown was shot to death by police in Ferguson at just 18 years of age. To some, the symbol took on a new meaning at that point: “hands up, don’t shoot.” It’s become popular in protests, including the recent murder of George Floyd in 2020.
“[The badge] is a small reminder that we must always stand in solidarity with our black colleagues, partners, family, friends, and players in the fight against racism and social injustice,” Apex Legends’ official account tweeted.
In celebration of Black History Month, we’re granting all players a Black Lives Matter badge at 8pm PT. It’s a small reminder that we must always stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, partners, family, friends, & players in the fight against racism and social injustice. pic.twitter.com/bIIbcXg3Dr
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) February 2, 2021
Respawn’s development director Tim Lewinson shared the powerful badge on his Twitter ahead of every player receiving a badge of their own.
“Working together with this team, creating this in-game badge to honor the fight for Black Lives Matter as part of Apex Legends has been one of the BEST experiences of my career,” Lewinson said.
He stated that he was proud to “work with accomplices, not just allies.”
Working together with this team, creating this in-game badge to honour the fight for #BlackLivesMatter as part of Apex Legends has been one of the BEST experiences of my career.
— Tim Lewinson 🇯🇲 🇨🇦 (@VancouverTim) February 2, 2021
The gesture from Apex Legends was met with general approval from the game’s community. TSM clapped in response to the announcement.
Some players saw fit to respond to the news with divisive messages. A few users brought up “all lives matter” in response to Respawn’s BLM celebration. Some even threatened to stop playing the game in response to the gesture by Apex Legends’ development team.
Players can obtain the limited edition badge simply by logging into Apex Legends. It will be available throughout the entire month of February.