Reddit co-founder husband Alexis Ohanian and husband of tennis superstar, Serena Williams has resigned from the company’s board because he is a ‘father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?”
The tech founder, who has a two-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. with his tennis star wife, made the shock announcement in a video uploaded to his Instagram page around midday Friday.
In the footage, he says he is stepping down ‘for me, for my family, and for my country’ so that his seat on the board can be filled by a black candidate and so he can focus on helping to ‘curb racial hate’.
The move comes after the company faced a backlash this week when it sent an open letter to staff addressing the Black Lives Matter protests.
Reddit’s former CEO Ellen Pao blasted the company saying it ‘monetizes white supremacy’ while two of its biggest subreddits staged a blackout and called for leadership to stand down if they don’t tackle ‘bigotry’ on the platform.
‘Fifteen years ago I cofounded Reddit as a place for people to find community and a sense of belonging,’ Ohanian says in the video shared Friday.
‘It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country.’
Ohanian continues: ‘I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?’
He says he hopes the company will hire a black person to replace him on the board and pledges to use his future gains on Reddit stock to ‘serve the black community’.
‘So I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights campaign,’ he says.
‘I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now. To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.’