Riot Games has placed one of their staff on leave after coming under fire from a post they made online about George Floyd. The story originated from Vice who picked up a now-deleted Facebook post from Ron Johnson, who if you’re not familiar with him, is the Global Head of Consumer Products at Riot Games. Johnson wrote the following on Facebook, along with this photo, criticizing the media and liberals for turning Floyd into a “martyr”.
“This is no reason to condone his killing by the officer at all, which still needs to be investigated as a potential crime. It is a learning opportunity for people (and your kids) to teach that this type of criminal lifestyle never results in good things happening to you or those around you.”
As you might have guessed, the comments went viral on the platform as they flew in the face of a statement Riot’s president, Dylan Jadeja, made just a few days earlier. Riot Games then issued a statement to a few different members of the media, including ESPN, which said the following and confirmed that Johnson has been put on leave pending an investigation:
“We’re aware of an offensive social media post made by a Riot employee and have launched an investigation,” Riot director of public relations Joe Hixson told ESPN. “We’ll say firmly that the sentiment in that image is abhorrent, against our values, and directly counter to our belief that addressing systemic racism requires immediate societal change, which we detailed in the commitments we made Friday. While we don’t discuss the details of our investigations, we’re following our disciplinary process closely and have placed him on leave pending its conclusion.”
It’s unclear whether Johnson is still getting a paycheck from the company while on leave, but regardless, it’s another situation where Riot Games now has to confront the fact that many in their chain of command may not be the right people for the job. If you weren’t already aware, the company recently settled a sexual discrimination lawsuit stemming from years of complaints from women employees about the way male staffers treated them in the company. We’ll see what happens with Johnson and whether or not this will affect the company as a whole.
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