A Riot Games executive is under fire after posting offensive comments about George Floyd’s murder. The employee had posted Floyd’s photo on Facebook, along with distasteful comments. The photo made its way through social media, representing the opposite of Riot Games’ values. The company has now launched an investigation over the social media post.
It’s been over two weeks since Floyd’s murder sparked public outrage against police brutality. Because of the recent situation, many organizations have come out in support of the Black community and more. Moreover, Riot Games issued a public statement regarding its donations to charities and movements that help support minorities. Although its values are in a morally good place, this does not mean its employees share the same sentiments. The Global Head of Consumer Products at Riot Games, Ron Johnson, upset many people with his offensive Facebook post.
Okay cool. Fire Ron Johnson next. Stand your ground. pic.twitter.com/Xs83InA3BF
— joshmutiny #BLM (@joshmutiny) June 10, 2020
Not all Riot employees share the same values
“This is no reason to condone his killing by the officer at all, which still needs to be investigated as a potential crime,” Johnson shared. His post featured a photo of Floyd with large text covering the top and bottom half of the frame. He continued to say that a criminal lifestyle never brings good things, indirectly blaming Floyd for his own murder. Overall, the text shared a list of crimes, including armed robbery and drug use, which angered plenty of readers.
Riot Games reached out to VICE over Johnson’s comments. “We’ll say firmly that the sentiment is abhorrent, against our values, and directly counter to our belief that addressing systemic racism requires immediate societal change,” Johnson has now been placed on leave pending disciplinary action. The company will continue to keep the investigation under wraps.
The post went viral on Twitter, with many users finding his comments to represent hateful sentiments. Some users demanded that Riot fire him, while others shared their disappointment over the situation. Additionally, this situation is reminiscent of Riot’s recent controversy over sexism in the workplace, which led to an employee walkout.
@riotgames Ron Johnson doesn’t deserve “leave” he deserves to be fired. As a 9 year league player and new Valorant player, I will not be playing until he is fired. Be part of the solution.
— Patrick Walsh (@Patrick_W_Walsh) June 11, 2020
An outcry for justice
On May 25, a video of Floyd’s death went viral on the internet, causing an uprising in protests. A Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was caught on camera arresting Floyd with his knee on his neck for eight minutes, causing him to lose oxygen. While Chauvin held him down, three other officers ignored Floyd’s cry for help as he said “I can’t breathe.” As users watched Floyd die on camera, many people swore to bring justice to Floyd and other Black people who have died to police brutality.
On June 3, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison charged Chauvin with second-degree murder. The other officers on the scene, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, have also been fired and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.