Super Smash Bros. Melee player and LCS referee McCain “MacD” LaVelle has decided to publicly apologize for his ongoing predatory behavior within the Smash community.
As more people in the gaming and streaming industry have come forward with their survivor stories, including many within the Smash community, MacD has come forward with his own words regarding his past behaviors.
“I’m sorry to all those I’ve hurt and made uncomfortable,” he tweeted, along with a link to a longer statement. “I was a problem.”
I’m sorry to all those I’ve hurt and made uncomfortable – I was a problemhttps://t.co/337RVVIZRA
— Mac (@MacDsmash) July 2, 2020
MacD explained that he was “too touchy and flirty, especially while drinking” in his early days of Smash. The Peach main thought it was “funny or harmless” at the time because people just expected him to act that way.
“In my past few days of reflecting, I’ve realized just how disturbing it is. How fucked up I’ve been. The last time this was publicly brought up was a wake-up call I desperately needed. That doesn’t change or help the things I did before. Hell, even since then there are people I’ve hurt,” MacD stated.
In 2016, fellow Smash player Brandon “Sparky” Wayne came forward with sexual assault allegations against MacD dating back to 2014. At one point, MacD had pinned Sparky to a bed, licking his ears and attempting to kiss him. Sparky stated that he didn’t call the police the time because he didn’t want his friends who lived with them to be “angry” about their “rent situation” if something came of it.
MacD made his own TwitLonger post soon after in which he denied the allegations. He explained that he’s a “very affectionate person” and “flirty.” MacD admitted he sometimes doesn’t understand people’s boundaries, something that he was “working on.”
“When someone makes the boundaries clear, I stick to them. I’m sorry that Brandon felt uncomfortable, but it was a confusing situation for myself,” MacD said.
Now, MacD has backtracked his sentiment and stated he knows he “was a problem.”
“I just didn’t understand how much of one,” MacD said.
MacD explained that he felt flirting with straight men made it okay since it would “never happen.” But he admitted some of the guys he flirted with were underaged.
“I thought it was just harmless flirting. Some words, a silly smile, a bop on the head, an arm around the shoulder. People were laughing. It seemed like we were all just having fun. It’s ok even if someone feels slightly uncomfortable because everyone else is laughing,” MacD said. “I was so, so wrong. I was thinking of everyone as equals when I should have seen the age and maturity differences.”
After first being called out in 2016, MacD said that he’s reflected on his own behavior, particularly over the past few days as more victims have come forward throughout the community. He claimed that he’s been working on himself in the interim, but still has a ways to go.
“If I’ve hurt you I’m sorry. If you want to have a conversation, I’ll listen. If you just want me to know and not respond, I’ll read,” he said.
MacD then stated that he’s removing himself from the Smash community. Instead, he will be focusing on addressing what he referred to as a drinking problem. He said he may try to quit and attempted to assign some of the blame for his actions to drinking.
The response to MacD’s admission was mostly negative. Many in the Smash community felt that it was too little, too late, especially since he had continued to harass and assault people after the 2016 incident. Others questioned the timing of the admission and whether it would have come out had MacD not felt pressured to make a statement given the number of accusations now entering the public sphere.
Way too late and referencing a time period of awakening that doesn’t excuse a 3-4 year continuation of predatory behavior. I’ve cared for you as an acquaintance and tried to tell you to stop. Instead you don’t. You also assaulted me at an after party. Please get help.
— mudkyp #BLM (@backdatbairup) July 2, 2020
Some did say that they were glad MacD was able to reflect on his actions and wished him luck in the future.