Turtle Rock Community Manager Weighs In On Donald Sterling Situation, Gets Fired

Josh Olin, the community and eSports manager at Evolve developer Turtle Rock Studios, has been fired over tweets he made yesterday in support of embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Olin, who is a former community manager at Treyarch Studios and Riot Games, said on Twitter on Wednesday:

"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."

The tweet was in reference to Donald Sterling's private racist remarks being made public by his girlfriend who recorded them. That recording ended up on TMZ. Later the NBA announced that it had fined the NBA team owner $2.5 million, put a lifetime ban on him owning a team, and ordered him to find a new buyer. Sterling has (reportedly) filed a lawsuit against the NBA.

Olin's remarks on Twitter led to some of his followers challenging him about the issue. He later clarified that he believed Sterling was a victim because of "illegal wiretapping resulting in a MASSIVE, life altering breach in privacy."  Olin later tweeted that he was "expressly not defending [Sterling's] remarks or actions."

Later in the day, Olin's employer tweeted the following statement regarding his comments:

"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 said the situation was "very poorly handled by malleable management."

By the night's end Olin found himself out of a job. Speaking to Polygon, he offered the following statement:

"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."

"That said, 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. Ironically, it serves as a great example of why I hold tenet #1 above so close to heart. That said, everyone should totally still buy Evolve. The guys and gals making that game know their ***, and are making it good."

We will have more on this story as it becomes available. Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.

Source: Polygon

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Sajomir says:

    It's absolutely correct that Donald Sterling has the right to think how he wants. If he acts on those beliefs and breaks the law, he should also be ready to face consequences. Likewise, he must be prepared to face social consequences of people/businesses not wanting to associate with him.

    It does kind of suck that the only way one can actually speak their mind "safely" is anonymously on the internet, though. If you don't agree with the masses, you get ostricised.

  2. 0
    Hevach says:

    Yep, Americans have every right to hold unpopular or just plain horrible opinions. And other Americans have the same right to call them on it.

    And neither of those rights free the people who hold them from consequences of their opinions. If your opinions cost you your job, where upholding the public image of a company, franchise, or league is right there in your contract, your rights haven't been violated. Nobody's stopped you from holding your opinions, they've just called you on them.

  3. 0
    lordlundar says:

    I can't say I have much sympathy for Olin. Whether you agree with whether Sterling's privacy was violated or not, the way Olin had worded it was poorly done and put on a twitter feed that he used to promote the company with. That is a major "do not" for Public Relations experts and served no purpose than damage the company's reputation. Olin didn't even bother to clarify his stance until after he was fired, then proceeded to blame his bosses for doing what was best for the company.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I actually wonder how  much of this was their community wanting to get rid of him for years and are exploiting this opportunity by pushing as much hype into it as possible.

  5. 0
    sqlrob says:

    Neeneko has it right. This is not an isolated incident, there's no reason to believe it to be an isolated incident, and in fact there's evidence *against* that.

    I think it's rather foolish to look at Sterling's statements in isolation.

  6. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I think the idea is that while his specific statements this time did not really hurt anyone (though given he was trying to control who she could be seen with, one could argue that it hurt her), it can be viewed as a piece of a larger set of behaviors that he has historically engaged in that has hurt people.  Kinda a 'smoke and fire' relationship.

  7. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I have mixed feelings on this one.

    Several communities I am part of have problems with 'outing', people taking private information about people's lives and passing them along to media or employers, which frequently results in at best embarrassment and harassment, but if often life destroying.

    I dislike Sterling and his attitudes, but I have seen so many personal examples of people far less able to shrug things off having similar actions used against them.  And more often then not, the tables are rather turned with the bigots being the ones who get to destroy lives, not people getting in trouble for being bigoted.

    So on the one hand, it is kinda nice to see someone who is being an ass actually having consequences, but it is a bit chilling to see such a high profile example of what goes on countless times per year to people off the mainstream who make easy targets for 'values' people.

  8. 0
    sqlrob says:

    "3) The right to be whatever you want to be as an American, as long as it isn't hurting anyone else."

    This is the same guy that got charges pressed for not renting to Hispanics or Blacks. What's that about "not hurting anyone else"?


Leave a Reply