Skullgirls developer Mike Zaimont, otherwise known as Mike Z, has apologised after making a â€œbad jokeâ€ referring to George Floydâ€™s final words before his death at the hands of police officers.
While commentating Skullgirls gameplay on Ryan Priceâ€™s Twitch channel, a caster remarked how a fighter was â€œsuffocatingâ€ their opponent, before Mike Z replied: â€œWould it be fair to say that, you canâ€™t breathe?"
The remark was met with a long pause of silence from the other casters, while the chat filled with disapproving comments.
The â€œjokeâ€ refers to George Floydâ€™s final words â€œI canâ€™t breatheâ€, which has become a phrase used by protestors in the US against police brutality.
Shortly after the stream, Mike Z issued an apology on TwitLonger, branding it â€œstupidly insensitiveâ€ and explaining how he immediately regretted the comment.
â€œIâ€™m wholeheartedly sorry for making a much-too-soon comment that was definitely in poor taste,â€ the post reads. â€œWhat matters is how it came out, not my intent, and it came out super badly.
I FULLY apologize. I said something stupidly insensitive, and I regret it.â€” Mike Zaimont (@MikeZSez) June 5, 2020
â€œI have tried to be sensitive to all types of equality issues in every aspect of life, but Iâ€™m not a public person or a great speaker and some of what I say is stupid junk. This single bad joke doesnâ€™t represent my views on racial inequality or on the systemic injustice present in the United States.
â€œI hope the rest of my actions in life are a testament to that.â€
Skullgirls is one of the big titles at EVO Online (Picture: Lab Zero Games)
He added: â€œIf people prefer I not commentate anymore, Iâ€™m more than happy to oblige.â€
Dominique â€œSonicFoxâ€ McLean, who recently had his own NPC character in Skullgirls, defended Mike Z over his comments in a Twitter thread.
â€œMike is one of my best/closest friends to me, especially knowing what he values and what his feelings are, so it is only natural for me to forgive him more easily than others, especially when he holds himself accountable,â€ SonicFox wrote.
Mike is one of my best/closest friends to me, especially knowing what he values and what his feelings are, so it is only natural for me to forgive him more easily than others, especially when he holds himself accountable.â€” SonicFox 1312 (@SonicFox) June 5, 2020
You dont have to do the same. Its perfectly fine.
â€œYou donâ€™t have to do the same. Its perfectly fine.
â€œAs his friend I will ensure he makes good of his promises, that you can count on.â€
Skullgirls is set to be one of key games at EVO Online, alongside Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, Killer Instinct and Themâ€™s Fightinâ€™ Herds.