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Riot Games Exec Who Posted "Abhorrent" Meme About George Floyd Resigns

12 Jun 2020

A few days after Riot Games’ Global Head of Consumer Products posted a meme about George Floyd that the company called “abhorrent,” Ron Johnson has resigned from the company.

According to ESPN, CEO Nicolo Laurent sent out an internal memo to employees Thursday night notifying them of Johnson’s resignation, not informing them of the measures taken in regards to the investigation but that it will be addressed in an upcoming meeting.

In the memo, Laurent says:

“I won’t comment on Ron’s intentions in posting that particular message, or on any of his political opinions that have been shared in the media or otherwise. We must respect that everyone is entitled to their own political views.

“However, I have to be honest with you. I believe Ron exercised really poor judgment here. It resulted in a post that was harmful to many of us and our broader community. It was insensitive and in this moment, it undermines the commitment we’ve made to stand against all acts of injustice, racism, prejudice, and hate. It also hinders our ability to create an inclusive environment for our entire community: Rioters, players, and partners alike.

“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.”

Riot also issued this statement to Kotaku:

Ron Johnson is no longer employed at Riot Games.

The sentiment expressed in the image in question is abhorrent and runs directly counter to our values and our belief that addressing systemic racism requires immediate societal change, something that we’re committed to working toward.

As we shared last week, Riot is taking thoughtful and deliberate action to help combat racism and injustice in the communities where we work and live. To start, we’re committing $1 million to areas where we know we can make an impact, including justice reform, long-term solutions to address racial bias, and support for local Black-owned businesses. We’re also striving to change the face of our industry and create opportunities, including by investing $10 million in founders underrepresented in the games industry and helping create a future pipeline of underrepresented talent for the gaming and tech world.

We know there is much work to be done, and we vow to do our part.

Johnson was originally placed on leave pending an internal investigation following a meme he posted on his personal Facebook page that modulates George Floyd’s death while outlining his alleged criminal history and drug use, insinuating that he was a threat to others.

Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.