Riot Games Fires Executive Who Blamed George Floyd For His Own Death [Update]


Riot Games has told IGN that it has parted ways with Ron Johnson, the executive who posted a Facebook message that placed blame on George Floyd for his own death.In a statement, the League of Legends developer confirmed that “Ron Johnson is no longer employed at Riot Games.” The company also reiterated its support for the Black community and highlighted the initiatives it announced to help Black and marginalized game developers. Read Riot’s full statement below:

“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.”

Riot Games has announced it is investigating an executive at the company who published a Facebook post that appears to have placed blame on George Floyd for his own death.

Ron Johnson, the Global Head of Consumer Products at Riot Games, shared a post on their personal Facebook account about George Floyd which said that “The media and the left have made George Floyd into a martyr. But who was he really?”

The post then lists Floyd’s criminal record. Johnson added, “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.”

ron johnson.jpg?width=640&fit=bounds&height=480&quality=20&dpr=0

In a statement to Vice, Riot games says, “We’ve been made aware of the social media 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 social change, which we detailed in the commitments we made Friday. While we don’t discuss the details of our investigations or their outcomes, we’re following our disciplinary process closely and have placed him on leave pending its conclusion.”

Riot Games announced that following the nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd, that it would commit $1 million in initial contributions to The Innocence Project and the ACLU. The company also announced it would contribute $10 million towards investing in startup programs for black and underrepresented game developers. Riot previously came under fire after a report chronicled a culture of sexism that let to a $10 million gender discrimination settlement in 2019.

Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.



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