NickMercs accused of being anti-LGBTQ+ for insensitive tweet
Jun 8, 2023
FaZe Clan co-owner Nick “NickMercs” Kolcheff is facing backlash after expressing concern at Pride Month being recognized in schools.
In response to a viral tweet showing controversy over a school’s decision to acknowledge Pride Month, esports caster Chris “Puckett” Puckett called the United States “a sad place” and urged people to “live your own life” and leave others alone. NickMercs replied to this tweet with the sentiment: “They should leave little children alone. That’s the real issue.”
This is common right-wing rhetoric that implies that the acknowledgment of LGBTQ+ people is “grooming” children and encouraging them to also be LGBTQ+. Many conservatives have also accused teachers of “grooming” children by mentioning the existence of queer and trans people, calling it inappropriate for being a “sexually charged” topic.
So when NickMercs used this phrase, it didn’t sit right with many people in the gaming community who don’t agree with this view on LGBTQ+ people and Pride Month.
Esports community angry with NickMercs
Puckett responded to NickMercs tweet: “Who is this ‘they’ and what terrible act is everyone afraid of? I think/hope the goal of most of ‘them’ is to reduce child suicides. This is done through acceptance and removing the stigma of feeling/being different.”
Other esports pros and fans joined in.
Caster Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez saw the ongoing controversy and told NickMercs he was “disappointed” in him, noting that “teaching acceptance” is valuable for kids of all ages.
Apex Legends coach Loopy said that he would never work at or watch another one of NickMercs’ events again, adding that he’s a “loser.” An Apex Legends streamer Hamb1no tweeted that he used to look up to NickMercs in the Apex scene, so it “f—ing sucks to see” how he feels about “people like me.” Apex Legends developer Oscar Aguirre called NickMercs’ comment “harmful, incorrect, and ignorant.”
NickMercs responds to backlash
As the frustration and criticism kept piling on, NickMercsS decided to address the comments on a Twitch stream. But his response was not what fans wanted to hear as he stood his ground.
“I simply feel that I want to be the one and my wife wants to be the one that wants to speak with my child about stuff like that,” he said.
He then accused people of “spinning” his tweet to purposefully misinterpret it. NickMercs said that he was not going to apologize for his tweet but felt bad he upset some people. He did apologize directly to Puckett, however, claiming he may have accidentally sent hate his way.
“I don’t feel like it’s wrong. I’m going to stand by what I said. I’m not going to delete the tweet. But I want people to understand exactly the point I was trying to make,” NickMercs said.
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