Rick Fox has made a name for himself on and off the court with investments in esports. However, the former NBA superstar could soon be calling it quits with one of his most successful ventures — Team Echo Fox — if one particular investor does not leave the company.
A week ago, Fox announced that he would be stepping away from Team Echo Fox, an esports company he helped create, over a shareholder using racist language to describe Jace Hall, the company’s CEO. The news was first reported by gaming site Dexerto.
According to Dexerto, racist language being used towards people at Echo Fox is a common theme, but one that Fox could not ignore:
“Most shareholders have tried to ignore this in the hope it goes away and this has forced Rick’s hand to leave. 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.”
In a recent interview with TMZ, Fox explained that although he loves what they’ve built at Team Echo Fox, he won’t do business with someone who uses racist language to describe people.
“This has been my life. This has been my passion. I’m not looking to go anywhere, but I will not stay in business with a racist. I just won’t” Fox told TMZ.
Fox also told TMZ that his relationship with Team Echo Fox could be saved, but only if the person using the racist language was no longer affiliated or associated with the company. He also posted a tweet on Friday that read “#endracism” with a link to the TMZ interview.
The identity of the the investor in question had been under wraps, until recently. Sources have confirmed to ESPN that the person Fox is at odds with is Amit Raizada, who is actually one of the co-founders of Echo Fox. Raizada is also a partner at Vision Ventures Partners.
Fox knows that getting Raizada to leave would be a tall task, but he’s been clear with Team Echo Fox, and the wider gaming community, about his stance on working with people who use the kind of language Raizada allegedly did. He understands that no legal action can be taken against Raizada, but he personally has decided he just won’t do business with him
“The unfortunate thing is being a racist in America is not illegal, unfortunately,” Fox said to TMZ. “He has his own economic interests and his own rights. So, no one is going to trample on his rights.”
Chris Greely, the commissioner for the League of Legends Championship series(LCS), says the allegations are currently being investigated.
Rick Fox jumped onto the esports scene in 2015 after buying Gravity Gaming — a League of Legends team — for $1 million.