NickMercs Call of Duty skin removed over anti-LGBTQ+ tweet
Jun 9, 2023
The backlash against Nick “NickMercs” Kolcheff over his anti-LGBTQ+ comment is continuing. This time, Activision is removing a NIckMercs skin from Call of Duty.
Pride Month is a time when the LGBTQ+ community and their allies honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City and celebrate being true to themselves and loving themselves. But amidst all of the parades and in-game Pride content, the esports community has lashed out at NickMercs for sharing a tired conservative slogan about keeping Pride Month away from their children.
In response to caster Chris Puckett sharing a clip of pro-LGBTQ+ protestors at a school near his apartment, NickMercs stated: “They should leave little children alone. That’s the real issue.”
NickMercs later clarified that he simply wanted schools to not discuss Pride Month and allow parents to discuss LGBTQ+ topics at home instead. He also added that he wouldn’t be deleting his tweet or apologizing, accusing others of twisting the meaning behind it.
This wasn’t enough to end the backlash.
NickMercs skin removed from Call of Duty
As the battle royale community continued to share their frustration, disgust, and sadness over NickMercs’ sentiment, Activision decided to remove NickMercs’ recently added content creator skin from Call of Duty: Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2.
“Due to recent events, we have removed the ‘NICKMERCS Operator’ bundle from the Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone store,” developers said. “We are focused on celebrating PRIDE with our employees and our community.”
The NickMercs skin was added to Call of Duty a month ago, along with one for Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar. The skins represented the two content creators’ brands and communities. Despite their popularity, however, Activision has removed the one featuring NickMercs.
While some fans applauded the decision, a few did question why NickMercs isn’t allowed to share his opinion. Whatever happened to freedom of speech, some asked. Well, a few gamers answered you are allowed to say whatever you want, but you are not free of consequences.
Another esports icon who knows this all too well is former G2 Esports CEO Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez. He was forced to step down from his position after associating with Andrew Tate and tweeting that he can party with whoever he wants. While it’s true he can spread Tate’s misogynist rhetoric, that doesn’t mean he will be welcomed by everyone in the esports community.
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