Riot Games is investigating the actions of one of its executives after an image they reportedly shared on social media came to light. The image, downplaying the death of George Floyd in police custody, led Riot to put a senior staff member on leave.
Ron Johnson, Global Head of Consumer Products at Riot Games, shared the post on his Facebook according to a Vice investigation. Though it doesn't deny that George Floyd was killed by a police officer or the need for investigation surrounding the killing, the image states that "the media and the left have made George Floyd into a martyr, but who was he really?" It goes on to list Floyd's record.
Riot Games released a statement to Vice, saying that it was aware of an "offensive social media post made by a Riot employee" and had launched an investigation. While Riot doesn't divulge the details of ongoing investigations or their outcomes, it has placed the employee on leave pending its conclusion.
"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," Riot said in its statement.
George Floyd was killed on May 25, after Minnesota police knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. The officer in question, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder, while three others at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting, and all four have been fired from the Minneapolis PD. Protests have erupted across the nation, including in virtual spaces online, against racial injustice and use of force by the police.