Rick Fox, former NBA star and owner of eSports team Echo Fox is reportedly leaving the team he owns after partner displayed blatant racism.
After what was described as an ‘abhorrent display of pure racism’ from a major shareholder, and threats made against his family, former NBA star and owner of eSports team Echo Fox Rick Fox has announced his departure from the team he owns. Team Echo Fox has confirmed these allegations which have led to a full-scale investigation by the LCS, the authoritative body behind the North American League of Legends esports league.
The following is the official response given by team Echo Fox regarding these allegations:
“There have been incidents in recent weeks in which a limited partner of the Echo Fox organization, who is not an employee, officer or director of Echo Fox, used a racial epithet towards individuals both verbally and via email. One such incident was detailed in media accounts today. And although that incident was not directed towards an employee, officer, member or shareholder of Echo Fox, racial intolerance connected to Echo Fox is entirely unacceptable. There have been other reported incidents where the shareholder in question used this same vile language towards Rick Fox personally. These incidents are especially significant for us as Echo Fox boasts an unparalleled level of diversity in its principal ownership group, management, leadership and player base. Upon being made aware of the incidents, the Company has made various demands to the offending investor, including the investor’s disassociation from the company and we are continuing to work diligently towards this end.”
The LCS also posted an official reaction on Twitter stating that “We are aware of recent allegations of a team owner using offensive and discriminatory language. The LCS believes in creating a fair and inclusive environment for everyone and the alleged comments are contrary to our values and have no place in our league. We have launched an investigation into the allegations and will respond accordingly, based on available actions within our team agreements and the LCS Rules. – Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner”.
Following these allegations, many big names in the eSports world, many of whom have worked with Fox previously, have stood up and announced their support for Rick Fox. SonicFox, winner of the Best eSports Player award at the 2018 Game Awards shared his support for Fox on Twitter stating “I respect my boss so much if this is the case. He has been a big inspiration to me and if he chooses to leave, I hope he stays in Esports as his passion and support for it is limitless.”
In an internal email published by eSports insiders Dexerto, Fox wrote about the incidents, explaining how this incident as well as threats made against his family had made it impossible for him to remain aligned with the company and attempted to distance himself from such abhorrent behaviour. “Racism is an anathema to what my personal brand strives for and tolerating any form of discrimination such as this is not acceptable.”
This was not an isolated incident according to Dexerto, who reported that this incident had been incited by a significant shareholder at Vision Venture Partners by using the n-word to describe former team Echo Fox chief Jace Hall; the partner having previously shown patterns of racist behaviour directed at both Hall and Fox.
With the recent racist-related incidents cropping up in Italian football, in which two AC Milan players were targeted with racist slurs by Lazio fans, it seems like this is a persistent plague still virulent today in 2019, a sad thought. However, the more and more people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and take a firm stance, like Rick Fox the better things will hopefully get. You have our full support here at eSportsnow Rick Fox! #NoToRacism
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