Former professional Basketball player, Ro has announced that he will be leaving the Echo Fox organisation, according to a report by Dexerto. The article by Richard Lewis publishes an email reported sent by Fox to his fellow shareholders. The letter clearly states Rick Fox’s reasons behind his decision to leave the Echo Fox organisation.
There are allegations of racism at the Shareholder level, something which is unacceptable to Mr Fox. Rick Fox was one of the first mainstream media personalities to accept esports as the future. There are multiple instances where Rick Fox has supported the statement that Esports players are professional athletes.
Rick Fox’s letter to Shareholders
In a letter to shareholders on April 19th, Rick Fox informed the major shareholders. He conveyed his decision to leave the company due to racial allegations against a ‘significant Echo Fox shareholder’.
This is an official notification of my intention to exit the Echo Fox organization as a shareholder and participant as soon as I am able to facilitate a transaction 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 has made it impossible for me to continue to remain associated with the company.
I will not support or be associated with such behaviour 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.
This notification serves as the beginning process of exiting the company. I will be contacting all relevant and interested people. My position in the GP and the entity that owns my shares are available. Depending on the proposal there are different ways to structure a deal, acquire my entity, swap positions, etc. Interested parties can contact me. I’m moving on the first deal that sits well.
While the allegations of racism against the particular shareholder are not new according to Dexerto, there was a particular incident which triggered this decision by Rick Fox. The Shareholder in question used the n-word to describe Former CEO Echo Fox Jake Hall. Mr Hall is also in charge of Twin Galaxies. Jace Hall is of African American descent and the usage of the n-word is simply unacceptable.
Echo Fox working towards disassociating itself from the investor
Echo Fox has released a statement to EsportsObserver on the matter. They will work towards disassociating themselves with the investor.
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.
Echo Fox to EsportsObserver
The report did not identify the shareholder accused of making these racial statements. According to reports, the email exchange could be between an investor in the Vision Venture Partners. Vision Venture Partners raised nearly $38 million in early 2018 and invested in Echo Fox.
Rick Fox formed Echo Fox in late 2015 when he bought the NA LCS spot from Gravity Gaming for $1 million. The organisation fields an LoL team. The team CS: GO division did not find much success and the organisation allowed its players to leave by the end of 2016. Freakazoid was the last player under contract and he parted ways with Echo Fox in January 2018. They also have teams in Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros.
What’s next for Echo Fox?
How this will impact Rick Fox’s association with the company is still up for debate. If Rick’s email is true, it would mean he is ready to sell his shares in the company as soon as a viable transaction is possible. It would be a huge blow to the Echo Fox brand as Rick’s association with the company has been the focus of many investors.
Echo Fox’s League of Legends team recently finished in the 5-6th place at LCS 2019 Spring Playoffs. They lost 1-3 to TSM and unfortunately placed last in the Playoffs. The organisation will definitely see changes in their shareholder names and ownership. Rick Fox’s departure from the shareholders [ if he goes through with the reported sale] will definitely be a huge blow to the brand.
For now, there is no official word from Echo Fox regarding Rick Fox. He has been a great ambassador for esports to the mainstream media. His departure from esports and Echo Fox would be a huge loss to the industry.
- Rick Fox set to leave Echo Fox amid racist abuse from organization shareholder – Dexerto
- Rick Fox Set to Leave Echo Fox, Cites Racist Comments from Shareholder – TheEsportsObserver
- Freakazoid parts ways with Echo Fox – HLTV
- Echo Fox allows players to exit – HLTV
- Vision Esports closes $38 million funding and invests in Echo Fox and Twin Galaxies – Esports-marketing-blog