Call of Duty pulls NICKMERCS bundle over anti-LGBTQ+ comments
As Activision launches its Pride campaign for 2023, the publisher has been dealt a bad hand and forced to remove its first-ever Call of Duty in-game ambassador from Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone over anti-LGBTQ+ comments.
Nick "NICKMERCS" Kolcheff was given the ultimate honour for a Call of Duty player last month as he and Tim "TimTheTatman" Betar became the first-ever content creators to be immortalised with in-game skins.
However, as NICKMERCS' "peace and love, baby" motto echoes through the minds of his MFAM fan base, comments on Twitter surrounding LGBTQ+ protests and in-school teaching have forced Activision's hand to remove his bundle.
NICKMERCS skin pulled from Call of Duty stores over LGBTQ+ comments
NICKMERCS came under fire for comments about a video where anti-LGBTQ+ protestors resorted to violence to shut down LGBTQ+ demonstrations outside of a school that was deliberating whether to recognise June as Pride month.
Although he didn't outright condone the actions, NICKMERCS suggested that children shouldn't be taught about LGBTQ+ and Pride in school, and instead, it should be up to individual parents to enforce this sense of community.
"They [LGBTQ+ community] should leave little children alone. That's the real issue," he abruptly said on Twitter.
NICKMERCS reiterated that this is not an "anti-gay" stance, but the comments have been enough for Call of Duty to axe his bundle from the store, even taking down its blog post that advertised the content creator collabs.
Taking to Twitter, Call of Duty announced, "Due to recent events, we have removed the 'NICKMERCS Operator' bundle from the Modern Warfare II and Warzone store. "We are focused on celebrating PRIDE with our employees and our community."
NICKMERCS doubles down on 'leave the kids alone' LGBTQ+ comments
Following the Tweet, and the backlash that came from it, NICKMERCS took to his stream to double down on the stance, explaining that it wasn't anti-gay and just a matter of a "different perspective" after becoming a father.
"My wife and I have just had a baby, I'm a brand-new father, and seeing these kinds of videos is sad. But she and I agree that we both want to be the people to talk to our kid about that [Pride].
"The video bothered me. I just don't think it's any place for a teacher or a school to speak about things like that [Pride]. It's not that I think it shouldn't be spoken about. If that's what you got from the Tweet then you're just wrong. It wasn't an anti-gay tweet.
"But if you think that I hate you because you're a certain way, you couldn't be any more wrong. That's not the truth." He concluded, "I'm not apologising about the tweet, because I don't think it's wrong and I stand by the tweet."
Call of Duty's stance against NICKMERCS has spurred a massive reaction from the gaming community, with "#standwithnickmercs" trending on Twitter and the likes of Herschel "Dr Disrespect" Beahm IV and Nordan "FaZe Rain" Shat backing the streamer.
How this will change NICKMERCS' relationship with Call of Duty is yet to be seen, as he's supposed to be getting paid a hefty whack to co-stream the CDL World Championships next weekend.