Riot Games executive resigns after 'abhorrent' George Floyd post

Riot Games executive resigns after ‘abhorrent’ George Floyd post

George Floyd

Caption of the image

George Floyd died on May 25th

A game company executive resigned over a meme published on George Floyd, who died while arrested.

Ron Johnson, who headed Riot Games’ consumer products, shared an image that described Mr Floyd’s criminal records.

He wrote that “there is no reason to forgive his killing”, but added: “This type of criminal lifestyle never translates into good things.”

Riot Games said that the Facebook post is “hateful” and told staff that Mr. Johnson exercised an “insufficient judgment”.

The Los Angeles-based company produces the popular League Of Legends video game and the new Valorant shooter.

On June 5, the company pledged to donate $ 1 million (£ 790,000) to “speed up progress” against racism amid protests following Floyd’s death.

The protests began after a video was released showing the arrest of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In the video, a white police officer is seen kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck even after pleading he can’t breathe.

Floyd’s death sparked huge protests in the United States against racism and police killings of black Americans.

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What did Mr. Johnson publish?

Johnson published a copy of an image that has been widely shared online.

Display a photo of George Floyd with a text that says: “The media and the left have turned George Floyd into a martyr. But who was he really?”

He lists several previous convictions and asserts that Mr. Floyd was “ready to drive the car and possibly kill his son” at the time of his arrest.

Johnson added his caption, stating: “This is not a reason to justify his killing by the officer, who has yet to be investigated as a potential crime.

“It’s a learning opportunity for people (and your children) to teach that this type of criminal lifestyle never translates into positive things that happen to you or the people around you.”

How did Riot Games respond?

Riot Games authorized Mr. Johnson on Wednesday to initiate an investigation.

He said the post was “disgusting, against our values ​​and directly contrary to our belief that tackling systemic racism requires immediate social change.”

On Thursday, the company confirmed in an internal email viewed by ESPN that Mr. Johnson had resigned.

“We must respect the fact that everyone has a right to their own political views,” wrote Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games.

“I think Ron made a very poor judgment here. The result was a harmful post for many of us and for our wider community. He was insensitive and at the moment, it undermines the commitment we have made to resist all acts of injustice, racism, prejudice and hatred.

“Ron understands this and acknowledges that he will be ineffective as a leader in Riot in the future. As a result, he has resigned, effective today.”

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