In a surprising turn of events, one of Twitch’s leading streamers, NICKMERCS, found himself in a heated controversy that not only divided his millions of followers but also caused a ripple effect across the gaming industry.
The issue revolved around a tweet in response to a Pride Month protest and had wide-reaching implications, including the removal of his customized skin from Call of Duty.
The Controversial Tweet
NICKMERCS, renowned for his skills in shooter games and battle royales, is used to the spotlight, but on June 7, the focus shifted from his gaming prowess to a contentious comment.
In response to a tweet regarding a brawl and subsequent arrests tied to Pride Month recognition in a school, NICKMERCS tweeted, “They should leave the little kids out of it. That’s the real issue.”
The backlash was immediate, with a portion of the gaming community labeling the streamer as a “bigot” and the comment as “anti-LGBTQ.”
In contrast, a sizeable section of NICKMERCS’s fan base – known as MFAM (mercs fam) – and others defended the streamer.
They interpreted his tweet as an endorsement of parental rights to introduce their children to matters of sexuality at their discretion.
NICKMERCS Response Amid the Controversy
In the aftermath of the controversy, NICKMERCS addressed the issue on his stream, standing by his statement.
He clarified that his comment was not anti-gay, emphasizing, “If you think that I hate you because you’re a certain way, you couldn’t be any more wrong.”
However, the streamer did offer an apology to esports caster Puckett, whose tweet triggered the original controversy.
He expressed remorse for unintentionally causing chaos in Puckett’s replies and the onslaught of insults Puckett received from those siding with NICKMERCS.
The Fallout: CoD Removes NICKMERCS’ Operator
The controversy led to a swift response from Call of Duty. Hours after NICKMERCS’s response to the backlash, players noticed the absence of his operator bundle from the game.
Activision confirmed the removal, citing “recent events” as the reason. They stated, “We are focused on celebrating PRIDE with our employees and our community.”
The decision prompted mixed reactions among CoD players, with some threatening to uninstall the game in protest, while others applauded Activision’s stance in the face of controversy.
NICKMERCS Breaks Silence Post-Operator Removal
After the removal of his Operator from Call of Duty, NICKMERCS issued a Twitter statement thanking his supporters for standing by him throughout the controversy.
He highlighted the resilience of his community, stating, “friends are created in good times, but families are built through adversity.” Despite not addressing the issue directly in this statement, he also refrained from retracting his earlier comment.
As of now, it remains uncertain whether NICKMERCS’ Operator skin will return to Call of Duty.
This controversy marks a pivotal moment in the gaming industry, highlighting the intersection of gaming, personal beliefs, and the commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive community.