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Riot Games Executive Says George Floyd Was Murdered By Police Because Of His "Criminal Lifestyle" [UPDATE]

Illustration for article titled Riot Games Executive Says George Floyd Was Murdered By Police Because Of His Criminal Lifestyle [UPDATE]
Photo: David Dee Delgado (Getty)

Ron Johnson, Global Head of Consumer Products at Riot Games, has shared an image on his personal Facebook account that lists George Floyd’s prior convictions before saying “this type of criminal lifestyle never results in good things happening to you or those around you”. He is now being investigated internally by the company.

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As Vice report, Johnson’s Facebook post is some wild shit, his mealy-mouthed own words overshadowed by the ludicrous, fear-mongering image that suggests Floyd, a man murdered by police for buying a packet of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill, was somehow on his way to “possibly kill your kid”.

Illustration for article titled Riot Games Executive Says George Floyd Was Murdered By Police Because Of His Criminal Lifestyle [UPDATE]
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A Riot statement issued to Vice says “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.”

Johnson is currently on leave pending the result of Riot’s internal investigation.

Riot, a company whose treatment of women has been the subject of fierce criticism for a number of years now, issued a statement last week outlining their “Commitment to Drive Change”, which includes committing $1,000,000 in donations to minority education and justice programs and a policy of matching “up to $1,000 per employee for qualifying donations”.

UPDATE, 1:30am, June 12: Ron Johnson has since resigned, with Riot’s CEO saying in an internal memo:

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.

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More on Johnson’s resignation here.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

His criminal history is irrelevant. What IS relevant was the cop continuing to knee him down over a prolonged period of time preventing him from breathing, even after George clearly indicated as such, and while his colleagues stood by and did nothing.

In other words, this guy over at Riot needs to get fired. In fact, fuck that company, and their customers, and their constant damage control bullshit. There’s always something going on there. They need to just shut the fuck down.