Home Entertainment Evolve community manager fired in ironic scandal

Evolve community manager fired in ironic scandal

2 min read

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Evolve looks like an awesome game, and even the fired community manager believes that people should buy it. Yes, it’s just that good. However, I’m a bit worried about the incredible irony present in the circumstances around his termination.

For those who aren’t aware, there is a huge controversy going on in the US of A. Donald Sterling made some racist remarks in his private capacity, leading to a lifetime ban from the NBA. People are showing very mixed reactions to the controversy – some feel that racism should always be punished while others think that comments made in private shouldn’t have anything to do with someone’s job. In a way, it’s reminiscent of the Paula Dean fiasco. It is something very present in the American consciousness at the moment, leading Evolve’s community manager to tweet from his private account:


Now, to be clear, there was a context to those tweets. Olin was actually supporting the idea that people should have the freedom to think and feel whatever they like in their own homes, and that sensationalist media can be harmful to society. He wasn’t trying to support racism, but that didn’t stop Turtle Rock Studios from giving him the axe.

Olin fired

In a statement to Game Informer, Olin clarified the situation:

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.

It is incredibly ironic that Olin would be fired for tweeting in his personal capacity in an argument that personal beliefs shouldn’t be aired out in the media. Beyond that, it’s another case of the sad state of the media. We’re seeing it so often now – perceived racism or sexism is causing big drama and hurting people’s careers. I think we can all agree that racism, sexism, homophobia and a list of other forms of discrimination is bad. But there has to be a line between personal beliefs and professional abilities or capacities.

Last Updated: May 2, 2014


  1. Kensei Seraph

    May 2, 2014 at 13:47

    Still promoting the game even though he’s lost his job, sounds like someone is going to give him a job soon.


  2. John Gardner

    May 2, 2014 at 13:51

    The smart move for TurtleRock would have been to say nothing.


  3. Aussious

    May 2, 2014 at 13:53

    Yeah I just think that sometimes common sense should prevail, if you job title is community manager maybe airing out your views about potentially polarizing subjects is not such a great idea especially if you know and understand the kind of beast the media and social media has become. The guy didn’t deserve to get fired though, but I just think that its a bit naive to think you can air your opinion on a public platform like it was your living room and not expect blow back.


    • John Gardner

      May 2, 2014 at 14:00

      “its a bit naive to think you can air your opinion on a public platform like it was your living room and not expect blow back”

      Ironically TurtleRock is seeing that now… just look at their twitter stream of mentions: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%40turtlerock&src=typd


      • HvR - THE Average GAmer

        May 2, 2014 at 14:22

        Think this one must hurt:

        @TurtleRock fires Olin for defending Sterling’s right to be a bigot AND HAS ALMOST NO BLACK PEOPLE IN THEIR COMPANY pic.twitter.com/3SsaYmEP6F


        • Gavin Mannion

          May 2, 2014 at 15:35

          am I missing something.. where’s the single black guy? You said almost?


          • HvR - THE Average GAmer

            May 2, 2014 at 15:40

            I quoted a tweet not my own brilliance.

            My permit to perform racial profiling from the NP government has expired but second row second from the right might be mixed race which will be African American in the states. And guy middle little bit to the right front row might be Geoff’s cousin.

            And we do not know what the guy taking the pictures look like.

          • Gavin Mannion

            May 2, 2014 at 16:03

            possibly… also you are possibly insulting someone for having curley hair and squinting in the sun.. you RACIST 😛

          • HvR - THE Average GAmer

            May 2, 2014 at 16:07

            O crap, better prepare my defense.

            “I’m not an expert on racial profiling and identification My Lady. I was expressing my opinion as a lay person”

          • Gavin Mannion

            May 2, 2014 at 16:09

            I put it to you that the PC brigade doesn’t care less

          • HvR - THE Average GAmer

            May 2, 2014 at 16:12

            O well I’m overdue for good digital lynching..

        • bluegoon

          May 2, 2014 at 19:55

          A quota like this would not be allowed to exist in South Africa. In accordance with our law, this is a racist picture.


  4. HvR - THE Average GAmer

    May 2, 2014 at 14:06

    The Liberal Public Lynch Mob Mission Statement:

    We believe in a Free and Fair society without prejudice as long as free thoughts and speech is in line with ours.


    • Brian Murphy

      May 2, 2014 at 16:37

      Yeah…because the majority of the billionaire NBA owners are liberal. Boy you sure thought that one through, didn’t you?

      You do realize that the NBA is a multi-billion dollar industry, and they’re going to act out of self-preservation when something like this rears its head. Right? It has nothing to do with racism, free speech, bigotry or anything of the sort. It has everything to do with players threatening boycott, sponsors dropping the Clippers, and numerous other things that were going to impact the NBA financially, right in the middle of the playoffs.

      Also, the Government hasn’t done shit, other than to disagree with Sterling’s comments, and I don’t see where the community manager is being arrested either. So, yeah, politics has nothing to do with this.


      • HvR - THE Average GAmer

        May 2, 2014 at 16:50

        Actually referring to social and formal media uproar over an old farts opinion and believes.

        In the States popular opinion and business interest always trumps individual freedoms and rights. Not free and tolerant society really if you think about it.


        • Brian Murphy

          May 2, 2014 at 16:56

          When it comes to business, your rights aren’t iterated under the Constitution, that’s the disconnect here. While I may sympathize that comments made in private, should be kept private (and the leaking of the audio is a whole different issue). Once it comes into the public sphere, your company or group is going to act, if the statement is bad enough.

          And businesses should have that right. Look at it this way, regardless of how the information came to light, say they do nothing, and the backlash results in less fans going to games, sponsors dropping across the NBA, players boycotting etc… Decimating a multi-billion dollar organization.

          Now who is that fair, too? People are free to not go to games, they’re free to not buy NBA branded items as a form of protest, but the owners have to sit around and watch their business collapse, because one of their own wasn’t careful?

          We cannot feign ignorance over the realities of how quickly information travels, this day and age. And as such, we need to modify our behavior to protect ourselves. When we don’t, we risk consequences.

          When it comes to business though, cutting out the ‘bad’ is simply the easiest way to quell, negative press. And for games companies, we all know that (bad press) can have disastrous effects on their product.


  5. NinjaToilet

    May 2, 2014 at 14:10

    Racism is a dead horse! So tired of hearing this unimportant bullshit.


  6. JoeMiller

    May 2, 2014 at 14:13

    Always funny when people have little disclosures in their twitter bio’s stating that their views are their own and does not represent the views of the company they work for. Media and your marketing/Hr are still going to hold you responsible for bringing the company in disrepute. People should just except that when you work for a major company to keep your tweets civil and not to stir any controversy. Was there any out cry after the community manager made the comment didn’t see anything mentioned in the article. This is some yo dawg level of irony.


  7. Alex Hicks

    May 2, 2014 at 14:26

    Wasn’t Josh Olin the Community Manager for a CoD game once?


    • HvR - THE Average GAmer

      May 2, 2014 at 14:27

      Well that is valid reason for firing someone.


  8. oVg Errorist

    May 2, 2014 at 14:43

    It all comes down to MONEY.
    If I shot my girlfriend in a crime of passion I would need 6 lifetimes to make the same amount of money that Oscar is going to make from his books or movie. Same with OJ…

    Or lets go this route,

    Little Jamie goes missing and the FA Cup including David Beckham raise awareness on giant advertising screens to find little Jamie, but 200 girls go missing in Nigeria and not a HOOT is honked by the international community. Its only Nigeria, right? RIGHT?

    Public opinion matters more than the freedom of speech when a Billion Dollar industry is involved.
    Yet you all watch and support Walt Disney who was racist.

    He is a racist prick. Thats his business.

    This is a mindception of a topic, kind of like the sexist articles that Gavin gets the most hits on.
    Would you buy a painting that you love knowing that the artist has a different, hateful, bigoted view of the world than you?


    • Aussious

      May 2, 2014 at 17:00

      Well said man…


  9. Rags

    May 2, 2014 at 15:18

    WTF. SO freedom of speech stands in stark contrast to their values? Fuck em. Go set up shop in North Korea.


  10. Gavin Mannion

    May 2, 2014 at 15:34

    This is such bullshit.. Sterling was talking in private. No matter how despicable his point of view it isn’t criminal and the fact that he’s been banned for life is absolutely insane.

    The PC squad has gone overboard and everyone should be ashamed of themselves for making this happen.

    As for 2K Games and TurtleRock.. I expect better from you


    • HvR - THE Average GAmer

      May 2, 2014 at 15:54

      Correct, if you want to live in society with freedom of speech, expression, association and religion you also need to live with speech, expression, association and religions you do not like and disagree with.

      Reminds me of the Orson Scott Card saga last year that even had The Movies calling for his blood.


      • Gavin Mannion

        May 2, 2014 at 15:58

        I’m not sure what you’re talking about… got a link?


        • HvR - THE Average GAmer

          May 2, 2014 at 16:04


          Yeah for search function.

          Was an opinion piece, I felt Kervyn was leaning towards supporting the boycot instead of balanced view.


          • Gavin Mannion

            May 2, 2014 at 16:15

            Never read that before.. but my limited opinion from that is that Orson has been very publicly been stating his hatred.. so not in private. Which makes it different IMO.

            However I’m not taking a side, I think Kervyn deserves to be given his chance to defend or argue his point as does everyone who disagrees. But no one deserves to lose their job over having an opinion.

          • HvR - THE Average GAmer

            May 2, 2014 at 16:25

            Kervyn and I had quite a debate in the comment section regarding this. My biggest issue was labeling someone a bigot; he wasn’t actively spreading hate and violence but expressing a very “scewed” religious and political viewpoint on a political platform.

            Also no mention that the comments was made more than 20 years ago and in 2011 he publicly retracted these comments and explained that his opinion has changed over the years to a more moderate one.

          • Brian Murphy

            May 2, 2014 at 16:44

            “But no one deserves to lose their job over having an opinion.”

            That’s not really your call, Gavin. Business react out of self-preservation, not some abhorrent rejection to what has been stated. Sterling and Olin both fell into the trap of causing negative publicity for their organization, something no company wants to deal with, no matter big or small.

            Usually, the easiest solution is to rid yourself of the transgressor, and companies have every right to do that. It just means that as your public profile expands, and you’re in the spot light more and more, you need to be far, far more careful about the things you say, and allow to reach the public sphere.

            It’s the price of larger paychecks.

          • Gavin Mannion

            May 4, 2014 at 09:41

            Actually Olin didn’t cause negative publicity, there was a tiny minority who were vocal about it. He didn’t say anything wrong.

            Sterling spoke in private, the lady who illegally recorded him and leaked it should be jailed. Whether the guys a bigot, dickhead or asshole is not the point.

          • Brian Murphy

            May 4, 2014 at 16:22

            Obviously, he did something his employers didn’t agree with. That much is pretty apparent…you know, with that whole being fired thing.

            He wasn’t illegally recorded, he knew he was being recorded, he ASKED to be recorded (look it up), that he didn’t have those recordings under more security is his own fault. I’m not saying the woman who leaked the audio is a saint, however, I am saying it matters little at this point and Sterling’s had it coming for years.

      • Brian Murphy

        May 2, 2014 at 17:42

        Again, the Government hasn’t done anything but denounce his remarks. You’re entering the realm of telling businesses how to run their business. And that’s entirely up to them.


    • Hammersteyn

      May 2, 2014 at 15:56

      Agreed, everyone talks in “private”


    • Brian Murphy

      May 2, 2014 at 17:11

      “No matter how despicable his point of view it isn’t criminal and the fact that he’s been banned for life is absolutely insane.”

      He hasn’t been charged with a crime, ergo, he’s not a criminal. Incorrect word usage. You are not the Commissioner of the NBA, nor are you one of the 30 NBA team owners, nor are you among the 360-450 active players in the NBA, therefore, your opinion is irrelevant.

      The people who are actual NBA employees, owners, players and the commissioner, will decide what happens. Not the peanut gallery.


    • Aussious

      May 2, 2014 at 17:17

      True but it came out and now everybody knows how he feels, there no undoing it. Business just did what was necessary because which corporate structure in our free market economy would wanna be associated with a known bigot? it just doesn’t make business sense. Whats even worse is that his work force ( the players) is majority black in a sport dominated by black athletes, the moment those comments came out the guy didn’t have a chance.


      • Brian Murphy

        May 2, 2014 at 17:22

        Yeah, people are so quick to focus on Sterling’s rights, but seem to think owners of the NBA have no rights of their own, or the players on the Clippers, or the players in the rest of the NBA, or the sponsors of the NBA

        Such hypocrisy, and lack of understanding of the actual situation.


  11. Brian Murphy

    May 2, 2014 at 16:31

    Since there’s always a disconnect between a story from America, and South Africa (don’t get me started). Here’s the entire scoop on the Donald Sterling situation.

    Here’s the audio between himself and his half-black half-asian ‘girlfriend’ (Yes, he is 81, and no, she isn’t):

    Donald Sterling has been an embarrassment to the NBA for decades, he’s a known slum lord (proud of it), he’s discriminated against his tenants (insofar as, they request repairs for something the landlord would be responsible for and then evicts them), and is generally the type of individual you just can’t wait for age to deal with.

    Now, as far as the NBA is concerned, everyone talking about Freedom of Speech, needs to read up on the Constitution of the US (if you’re going to write an article about it…since, you know, educating yourselves on the subject helps in explaining the situation). First off, Freedom of Speech protects you from the Government. It does not give any employee carte blanche to say whatever they like.

    It’s widely known that as your pay grade goes up, your responsibility as an employee goes up, specifically but not limited to, how you behave in the public sphere, and the things you allow to leak into the public sphere.

    The recordings of Sterling were done, with his knowledge. He actually requested them be made, because he apparently forgets allot of what he says. That those recordings weren’t under lock and key = his fault.

    Now, raise your hand if you know how a private club works? You get voted in, right? Well, the NBA ownership group can also vote you out. Which is iterated in the NBA Constitution (which owners and players must sign to join).

    Article 24(I):

    “The Commissioner shall, wherever there is a rule for which no penalty is specifically fixed for violation thereof, have the authority to fix such penalty as in the Commissioner’s judgment shall be in the best interests of the Association. Where a situation arises which is not covered in the Constitution and By-Laws, the Commissioner shall have the authority to make such decision, including the imposition of a penalty, as in his judgment shall be in the best interests of the Association. The penalty that may be assessed under the preceding two sentences may include, without limitation, a fine, suspension, and/or the forfeiture or assignment of draft choices. No monetary penalty fixed under this provision shall exceed $2,500,000.”

    and he’ll be forced to sell under article 13(a):

    “The Membership of a Member or the interest of any Owner may be terminated by a vote of three fourths (3/4) of the Board of Governors if the Member or Owner shall do or suffer any of the following:

    (a) Willfully violate any of the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws, resolutions, or agreements of the Association.”

    It is widely presumed that he’ll be discharged from an ownership role under the auspices of article 13(a), under the conduct detrimental to, clause. Given that shortly after the audio surfaced, 5 major sponsors dropped the LA Clippers, it shouldn’t be a hard point to prove. In addition, he’s banned from any and all NBA/Clippers related activities and fined 2.5 million dollars. All of these punishments are at the leisure of the Commissioner of the NBA (Silver), because this particular infraction has never come up, therefore no precedent has ever been set, therefore much of it is handled under article 24(I).

    Next up, Sterling’s still free to be a racist douchebag. The Government isn’t jailing him. He’s simply being smacked by the NBA, of which he is only an owner of one team (there are 29 other teams). Your company can bend you over and fuck you, if you make them look bad. There are countless, countless examples of this throughout the world (and specifically America).

    There was a woman who was on a company business trip, and during her free time she took a picture of herself screaming at, and flipping off the sign for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Arlington National Cemetery). She got fired. There was a woman who made a joke about Africa and HIV on twitter, who was fired before she even got off the plane. The precedent is there, on a much lower level…but if your random office worker can get fired for conduct detrimental to, so can the owner of a team.

    As far as the community manager is concerned, he made one very egregious error, nobody is charging Donald Sterling with anything, he will never go to jail for what he’s said. The Government will never fine him, or have him on parole. He is FREE to say what he wants, however, Freedom of Speech, doesn’t mean your Free Speech doesn’t come with consequences, and the Government doing something is only a fraction of the responses you could get.


    • Aussious

      May 2, 2014 at 19:54

      Wow great piece Brian, I for one always appreciate a well research opinion regardless of what my personal feelings are about the matter are. I put it to all of you that believe that this guy was victimized somehow that no board,corporate structure in the world would ever want to be associated with an individual with such polarizing views, regardless of how this was leaked bottom line is its just bad for business especially if you run a business that’s supposed to promote multiculturalism. This whole argument that he said those things in private is not only irrelevant but its unbelievably naive because its all out there now, he is a known public figure who has certain social responsibilities to his peers, organization and workforce I certainly would want my organization associated with such an individual period!


      • Brian Murphy

        May 2, 2014 at 20:05

        As condescending as it may have sounded, I guess I should have thrown a caveat in there as well. Even American’s like to call foul on Free Speech, when businesses do things like this. Even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the 1st Amendment, whatsoever. So, in that vein, even American’s need to educate themselves (surprise), over what exactly our constitution covers.

        And you hit the nail on the head here Aussious. It doesn’t matter whether his statements were meant to be private, it doesn’t matter that everyone’s entitled to their opinion. What matters is, he allowed audio tape of himself, that he was aware of, to leak into the public sphere while being the owner of a largely minority comprised league of athletes (81% of NBA players are of color…43.3% of head coaches, are of color).

        The NBA routinely gets A to A+ marks in racial hiring practices, and Donald Sterling is simply the antithesis of who you’d want representing that group. Let alone owning a team. The NBA actually tried to get rid of Sterling in 1982, for other infractions, not sure why it didn’t follow through, but yeah, this isn’t the first time the league has set their sights on him.

        Sterling’s continued presence as an owner, will only have an adverse impact on one of the more diverse sports in the US, and while I’m kinda meh, about Basketball, it’s an important institution for allot of people.


  12. Alien Emperor Trevor

    May 2, 2014 at 17:29

    When a public representative of a private company says something the company doesn’t like, they get to boot his ass if they choose too. Whether right or wrong, they have to deal with the consequences of that choice. The lines between public & private comments have become very blurred thanks to our brave new world.

    I actually agree with his tweets & don’t think he should have been fired for what he said. Except for one point: he is by no means a victim.


  13. Brian Murphy

    May 2, 2014 at 18:08

    For the record, the First Amendment of the US Constitution:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    When Congress, the US Government, or law enforcement officials descend upon Donald Sterling, and charge him with making racist comments, or Mr. Olin for his comments, then virtually every comment in this thread have some merit. Until then, people going crazy really just illustrates how easy it is to whip up the masses with buzz words.

    You can disagree with how companies deal with negative press from an employees actions, you can think it’s unfair, but claiming it’s a Freedom of Speech issue, when it clearly is not, is an ignorant knee-jerk reaction.

    There are also limitations to Freedom of Speech, that I think is easy to overlook when you don’t live in the States. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has regulations over what can and cannot be said on TV, and Radio. That’s a violation of Free Speech, no? Or how about yelling Bomb or Fire in a theater (You’re not going to want to do that)?

    Let me be clear, it’s not that I feel that people outside the US have no right to debate/discuss the merits of this topic. Far from it, feel free to discuss/debate it at your leisure (or any topic for that matter), but do some from a position of knowledge and wisdom. Not from an emotionally charged position, based upon just what you feel (which quite often, doesn’t reflect reality).


    • Aussious

      May 2, 2014 at 19:57

      Again well said!


      • Brian Murphy

        May 2, 2014 at 20:14

        Thanks! It’s a touchy subject, but I really feel people are basing their comments from a position of ignorance. And that simply isn’t how you debate/discuss a topic like this. The situation raises some valid concerns, but I don’t think people stop to look at it from the perspective of the employer.

        Who in the hell would want that guy in their company? Who in the hell would want to work for him? Nevermind, what their ethnicity is? Who would want to sponsor a team, run by him?

        And what’s their recourse? If they have one guy clearly dragging the company down, are 29 other owners supposed to just sit there and watch their league implode? How is that even remotely fair? Furthermore, all the mechanisms under which Sterling’s been penalized are written in the NBA Constitution, which players and owners signed onto in order to become players and owners. How is it fair, to not hold someone accountable for their actions (intentional or inadvertent doesn’t matter), under the auspices of an agreement everyone involved signed onto?

        We often criticize companies, people, etc… for treating the rich differently than the common joe, and I feel like giving Sterling a free pass because he ‘thought he was speaking privately’ is hypocrisy of the highest order.


    • Willem Swanepoel

      May 4, 2014 at 18:15

      Freedom of speech or whatever. I do not see the point to post anything on twitter / facebook when you are upset or sad or what emotion you currently experiencing.

      I have seen so many people even outside USA got fired because they posted something on a social media site that was racist and made the company very upset ….

      last one that I have seen was the lady who made that racist remarks about the taxi driver on twitter in South Africa, what did she gain from that ?! again … no point at all


      • Brian Murphy

        May 4, 2014 at 20:35

        Yeah it’s very strange, it’s not like companies firing their employees for this stuff is new. It’s been going on for a couple years now, at least. There have even been a couple lawsuits in the US about it, I think.

        I’m honestly unsure whether I’m ok or not with it. I can see some merit in having an additional layer of filtering employees, on the other hand, professional appearance and social appearance are two vastly different things. I think it mainly depends on the transgression, or the timing of the event. Even then, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have the Government stepping in. Even with a functional, sane Congress (haven’t seen one of those in years), that’s a tall order given your normal split between Dem/Repub and the handful of Independent and Libertarian members (In the US anyway).


  14. Brian Murphy

    May 12, 2014 at 23:48

    And as if I hadn’t made my point well enough already, confirmation has now come from multiple agents that they represent multiple athletes who will not join the Clippers, if the Sterlings (Donald or his wife Shelly) are still owners this summer.

    (Agents speaking to reporters)

    “You have to appreciate all that the NBA has done in this situation, what Adam Silver and the other owners are trying to do,” one prominent agent said, requesting anonymity because of possible future interactions with the team. “They came down hard on the guy, as they should have.

    “But I know I have players who just won’t go there now, not until Sterling is gone completely. If there is even a chance that you’re going to help that guy make even one dime, a lot of guys are not going to go play there. It is going to be something they will have to deal with when July comes around.”

    “I don’t think the whole thing winds up with Sterling back in charge, that is just hard to imagine,” another agent told SN. “There’s the chance, though. There’s a chance you wind up working for Sterling. That’s the problem. And there is also a feeling like, ‘Hey, the league let this guy do his thing for 30 years and they’re only doing something about him now? Why would I go there?’



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