Vice.com is reporting that Riot Games Global Head of Consumer Products Ron Johnson has been placed on leave from the company following posts he made on Facebook related to the death of George Floyd. Johnson shared an image of Floyd that detailed his criminal history, while also commenting that his killing should serve as a “learning opportunity” that “this type of criminal lifestyle never results in good things happening to you or those around you.”
A spokesperson for Riot Games responded to Vice, saying that they were made aware of Johnson’s post and have launched an investigation. “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.”
The incident serves as a continuation of Riot’s tumultuous past couple of years, which has seen the company rocked by claims of sexism and an overall toxic work culture. It responded to those allegations by offering to take “steps forward” to address these issues, which resulted in the suspension of its COO.
Update, June 12: Johnson has resigned from Riot Games. ESPN obtained a copy of the memo that was sent around the Riot offices Thursday night by CEO Nicolo Laurent which reads, in part:
“I believe Ron exercised really poor judgment here. It resulted in a post that was harmful to many of us and our broader community. … Ron understands this and recognizes that he will be ineffective as a leader at Riot going forward. As a result, he has resigned, effective today.”