Actor and former Los Angeles Lakers player Rick Fox is leaving Echo Fox, the esports organization he currently owns, after a shareholder allegedly used racist language in an email exchange, according to Dexerto.
In an email to all major stakeholders sent on Apr. 19, Fox said he intends to leave the organization as soon as he’s able to do so.
“The recent outrageous and abhorrent display of pure racism made by a significant Echo Fox shareholder as well as threats to my family have made it impossible for me to continue to remain associated with the company,” he wrote. “I will not support or be associated with such behavior and attitudes displayed at the shareholder level. Racism is an anathema to what my personal brand strives for and tolerating any form of discrimination such as this is not acceptable.”
Fox’s decision to leave apparently stems from an incident involving former Echo Fox CEO and head custodian of Twin Galaxies Jace Hall, according to Dexerto. During an internal dispute, a shareholder allegedly used the n-word to describe Hall, who’s African-American. Sources told Dexerto this isn’t the first time such language was used by that shareholder when speaking about both Hall and Fox.
“Most shareholders have tried to ignore this in the hope it goes away and this has forced Rick’s hand to leave,” one source said. “He obviously isn’t going to stand for that and was hoping the matter would be addressed on a shareholder level rather than just swept under the carpet.”
Fox bought “League of Legends” team Gravity Gaming for about $1 million and re-branded it as Echo Fox in late 2015. It currently has teams for games like “Mortal Kombat 11,” “Madden NFL,” “Apex Legends,” and “Fortnite.”
Variety contacted Echo Fox for comment and we’ll update this story if we hear back.
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