As an on-ice enforcer who tangles with some of the National Hockey League’s best fighters, St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves is used to being a little black and blue after a tough game.
But one can excuse Reaves for being red hot miffed at EA Sports for digitally making him waaaayyy too black in its NHL video game.
Adventures – or misadventures – in pigmentation aren’t unusual in the media world. Time Magazine faced an avalanche of criticism when it darkened the facial features of then-murder suspect O.J. Simpson on its June 27, 1994 cover.
And Lifetime’s made-for-TV biopic about the late R&B singer/dancer Aaliyah has been slogging through controversy from the moment its producers initially cast an actress who many Aaliyah fans deemed too light-skinned to play the lead role.
However, the ghosts of colorations past probably mean little to Reaves, who’s dealing with the here and now. He made his displeasure with EA’s digital version of him known in one succinct tweet.
You’d think the folks at EA wouldn’t want to get on Reaves’ bad side. He’s the Blues’ designated hitter – with his body and his fists. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native tallied only 2 goals and 6 assists in 63 games for St. Louis last season. While Reaves finished 546th in the league in scoring in 2013-14, he was 12th in the league in penalty minutes with 126.
Reaves has been hearing it from teammates and friends in the NHL about his dark digital alter ego. Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, ever the eagle eye, tweeted that he noticed something different between the real Reaves and the EA one.
“I know eh…wrong jersey…,” Elliott wrote.