The maker of the “Angry Trayvon” app defended the game as not being racist, even though it was pulled from the Google Play store for exploiting slain black teenager Trayvon Martin by using a hoodie-wearing character.
“Angry Trayvon” features a hoodie-wearing character who uses a baseball bat to attack other characters in the game. The “Angry Trayvon” character is a clear reference to Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. (He did not have a baseball bat.) Zimmerman is on trial on second-degree murder charges.
Before the “Angry Trayvon” app was pulled from the Google Play store, a petition sprouted up on Change.org calling on Google to remove the app.
“This application unnecessarily promotes violence and exploits the unfortunate death of Trayvon Martin. I am sure his parents do not appreciate the image of their son as a gun-toting vigilante. The death of this young man is NOT A GAME,” wrote petition author T.L. Rower. “This developer is using the Google marketplace to exploit the death of an unarmed teen for profit while simultaneously promoting violence. Given the racial and social climate surrounding this issue and the unfair depiction of a deceased minor who perished as a result of gun violence, we are asking that this application be moved from the Google Play marketplace immediately.”
In a statement, TradeDigital, the makers of the app, defended the “Angry Trayvon” game. “The people spoke out, therefore, this game was removed from the app stores. Sorry for the inconvenience, as this was just an action game for entertainment,” TradeDigital said on its Facebook page. “This was by no means a racist game. Nonetheless, it was removed as will this page and anything associated with the game will be removed.”
The “Angry Trayvon” app cost $1.99 in the Google Play store before it was pulled, the Washington Post reports. The game was never submitted to the Apple App Store for use on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
While the Martin character’s face was not detailed in the game, the character wore a gray hoodie. Martin was wearing a hoodie on the night he was killed, and national media focused in on that article of clothing, sparking debate about race and whether the hoodie made him look suspicious. (Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera faced heat over arguing that Martin might not have been shot had he not been wearing a hooded sweatshirt that night.)
Zimmerman’s trial is currently in its third week. The community watch volunteer claims he shot Martin in self-defense, while state prosecutors in Florida contend that Zimmerman’s conduct amounted to murder.
The trial is expected to end by the end of the week, at which time the six members of the all-female jury will decide Zimmerman’s fate.