Turtle Rock, the developer behind the upcoming game, Evolve, has fired its Community Manager over a controversial tweet backing LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for life after a recording of him being racist in his own home leaked.
Sterling had told his girlfriend not to bring black people to basketball games, which didn’t go down well with a lot of people. However, Evolve Community Manager, Josh Olin, tweeted out in defence of Sterling saying: “Here’s an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He’s a victim.”
After seeing the Tweet, Turtle Rock fired Olin, a couple of tweets from the developer read: “The comments made by our former community manager stand in stark contrast to our values as a game development studio. We sincerely apologize for his remarks and in no way endorse or support those views.”
Olin later clarified to Kotaku that his tweets weren’t in support of racism but rather, freedom of speech: “Anyone who follows me knows my tweets were not in support of Sterling’s actions. Rather, they were promoting three core tenets I believe in: 1) The harm sensational media presents to society. 2) The importance and sanctity of your privacy within your own home. And 3) The right to be whatever you want to be as an American, as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else. That last point not to be confused with condoning Sterling’s actions, which I don’t.”
It turns out that Olin didn’t even get the opportunity to defend himself and try to keep his job as 2K management seemed to fire him without saying anything: “it’s disappointing to see that a select few in Turtle Rock and 2K Games management bought into this hysteria without even having a conversation with me – or even thoroughly reviewing the context of the tweets themselves.”
KitGuru Says: This is a touchy subject, obviously racism is wrong but Olin wasn’t supporting that, he was actually standing up for freedom of speech, which is a right worth defending even if Sterling was in the wrong. I guess when you’re a public figure, it’s safer to just stay away from controversial subjects online.