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Monday, January 25, 2021

Florida Mayhem under fire for improper investigation of sexual misconduct

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Overwatch League’s Florida Mayhem is facing another backlash, this time after the team revealed the identity of the accuser while publishing their statement over the sexual misconduct involving a now-former employee of the organization.

The ex-employee in question, Anthony “antwn” Salzarulo was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at the Overwatch League Grand Finals in 2019.

Anthony used to work as a social media manager and graphic designer for Mayhem and Misfits Gaming until he was suspended without pay in June 2020 after Misfits president John Kracum released a statement regarding the sexual misconduct allegation and assuring of a proper investigation.

Recently, Florida Mayhem published a statement where they informed about the completion of the 6-months old sexual misconduct investigation and finding no evidence of wrongful conduct by Anthony. The organization also mutually parted ways with Anthony. 

Florida Mayhem face backlash over including Victim’s Twitter

The thing that initially upset the Overwatch community was that the team had included the accuser’s Twitter handle in their statement, which could lead to her receiving vitriol filled threats and messages.

The community immediately blasted the official Twitter of the Florida Mayhem for their decision of naming the victim in the announcement.

Hours after the former Houston Outlaws DPS and current Overwatch League caster, Jake Lyon tweeted “It’s not acceptable to name the victim in a public forum. Should delete this right now.”, the team deleted the initial announcement and republished it after hiding the name of the victim. 

They shared the exact same statement without an apology towards the victim. But again they were hit by a backlash, this time from people close to the victim.

Original Mayhem statement (Picture: Florida Mayhem)

People close to the victim shared that in six months since the investigation initiation, no one from the Mayhem organization had contacted the victim or close friends beyond the initial messages they received on the day after Misfits president John Kracum’s statement. 

Following this, people started to doubt the investigation and criticized the organization for not contacting the victim regarding the investigation and still publicly releasing her identity on Twitter without any warning.

A Twitter user Aerin, tweeted out a picture parodying Mayhem’s original statement saying that they “conducted a thorough investigation in 6 months despite never having contacted the victim or her acquaintances who were present or nearby when the allegations took place beyond from a couple of messages the day the allegations were brought to light.”

As of now, Florida Mayhem or even their owner Misfits Gaming has yet to issue a follow-up statement to the acquisitions about the genuinity of the investigation. 

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