Riot Games is investigating one of its executives after he shared a controversial Facebook post about George Floyd, whose death while detained by a Minneapolis police officer last month sparked protests across the USA and around the globe.
As first reported by VICE, Ron Johnson has been placed on leave while Riot investigates the post, which shows a picture of Floyd with the caption: “The media and the left have made George Floyd into a martyr. But who was he really?” At the bottom of the post, it outlines Floyd’s alleged criminal record and claims that he was “high on meth” when he was detained by officer Derek Chauvin, who is currently being charged with second-degree murder.
On sharing the post, Johnson himself wrote that while Floyd’s killing shouldn’t be condoned, it should be used as a “learning opportunity” to show that a “criminal lifestyle never results in good things happening to you or those around you.”
Riot’s director of public relations, Joe Hixson, confirmed to ESPN that Johnson is now being investigated for an “offensive” social media post. Hixson also describes the contents of the post shared by Johnson as abhorrent, against our values, and directly counter to our belief that addressing systemic racism requires immediate societal change.”
Riot’s investigation of Johnson comes less than a week after its president released a statement in solidarity with the “national outcry for justice” following Floyd’s death and pledged donations to relevant charities and investment in underrepresented people in the gaming industry.