Riot Games has released an official statement on the Rick Fox racism allegations via its LoLesports Twitter account today.
The statement, credited to LCS commissioner Chris Greeley, outlines a solid deadline for Echo Fox to take action against their investor.
Details of the abuse first emerged in a report by Dexerto, which outlined a series of racist comments and threats allegedly directed at Rick Fox by Echo Fox investor Amit Raizada. Days later, a series of emails emerged which seemed to corroborate the initial accusations.
Subsequently, Upcomer reported on a series of texts that seemingly showed the same investor engaged in anti-semitic abuse against another party within the organization.
The ultimatum set down by Echo Fox is comparatively lenient compared to previous punishments laid down by the company. Overwatch League caster, and former co-owner of Renegades, MonteCristo, weighed in with his experience of Riot Games’ sanctions.
Renegades owners were made to relinquish ownership and then forced to sell their slot after accusations of not correctly disclosing team ownership, misleading player trades, and player mistreatment were directed at them.
Riot’s statement makes reference to a violation of rules and agreements, and under section 14.3. of the LCS rulebook, profanity, hate speech, discrimination, and denigration are all prohibited within the league. However, in each instance, these rules are described as applying to “Team Members,” and would not, therefore, apply to shareholders.
Instead, it is up to Riot to choose whether it will continue to be affiliated with an organization or its members who act against these rules outside of the league.
Parallels can be drawn between Echo Foxes’ current situation, and the NBA’s LA Clippers, as they faced league sanctions in 2014 after racist outburst from then owner Donald Sterling. Sterling was eventually forced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver to sell the Clippers, and was handed a lifetime ban. Riot could inforce similar bans, especially if it wants to be seen as taking a hard line on racism and discrimination.
At the time of writing, Echo Fox has not officially responded to the Riot’s statement. However, with the deadline falling in the middle of the LCS 2019 Summer Split, it's likely the organization will want to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
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