A 15-year-old middle school student landed in hot water for saying a phrase he learned from Electronic Arts’ (EA) Madden 12 game. The student, while announcing a football game, described a 7th grade player of Haitian descent by saying, “He’s got that getting away from the cops speed.”
The phrase was originally made on television by announcer Gus Johnson to describe a touchdown by Tennessee Titans’ running back Chris Johnson. Later, the phrase was included in EA’s football game as one of phrases the electronic version of announcer makes.
Many have stated the phrase is racist, especially because they say Johnson only used it when describing black players. Johnson, who is black himself, previously stated, “[i]f there is a perception of racism in this analogy, it is not coming from me. People of all races have run from the law.”
Some spectators at the middle school game agree that it is racist. In fact, the student announcer has even been threatened on Facebook by some that were offended.
The Margaretta School District stated it has taken corrective actions. The district’s superintendent said he hopes it is “a learning experience” for the student. However, the student’s punishment was not announced.
The student’s parents say they are considering a lawsuit against the district. They say he learned the phrase from the game, and the school’s reaction was unfair and harsh. In addition, they are investigating potential claims against those who threatened their son.
EA has not commented on the situation.