Riot Games has placed executive Ron Johnson on leave and launched an internal investigation after he posted a Facebook post downplaying the killing of George Lloyd in the US.
As first reported by Vice and spotted by Eurogamer, Johnson is said to have shared the post on his personal Facebook that laid the blame for Lloyd's death on his lifestyle choices through a picture overlaid with the man's alleged criminal convictions and called his death '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.'
In a statement to Vice, Riot Games said '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 societal 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.'
Floyd's death at the hands of a Minnesotan police officer after the latter knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes sparked off a wave of protests worldwide as part of the Black Lives Matter movement and codemning the systemic racism in society across the world, with many games companies standing in solidarity with protestors by pledging to help drive change by launching initiatives and long-term commitments to various charities benefiting black and under-represented communities - including Riot Games themselves putting out a statement from company president Dylan Jadeja.
It's the latest turmoil Riot Games have found themselves in of late which has also included providing a new code of conduct for their players as part of a pledge to hold themselves accountable for confronting ongoing sexism and gendered harrasment in their games such as Valorant.