Riot executive on leave after George Floyd remarks

Consumer products boss Johnson under investigation for saying Floyd's "criminal lifestyle" played a role in his death

Riot executive on leave after George Floyd remarks

The global head of consumer products at League of Legends and Valorant maker Riot Games Ron Johnson (pictured) has been put on leave and is under investigation after remarks he made about George Floyd.

As reported by Vice, the exec downplayed Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in a post on Facebook that featured an image that said: "The media and the left have made George Floyd into a martyr, but who was he really?"

Johnson insinuated that Floyd's "criminal lifestyle" had played a part in his death and that this was an opportunity to teach people that this sort of life "never results in good things."

"Against our values"

In a statement, 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."

Following Floyd's death and the Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place around the world, Riot has committed to put $10m behind minority-led studios in the future, as well as donating $1m to social justice causes starting with The Innocence Project and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.