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Call of Duty removes Nickmercs skin from shop following anti-LGBT+ comment

UPDATE: Timthetatman bundle also removed, as fellow streamer sides against Activision.

UPDATE 11/6/23: Activision has now also removed the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone skin bundle for high-profile streamer Timthetatman, after he requested his in-game items were removed in solidarity with Nickmercs.

"At Tim's request, we have removed the TimTheTatman operator bundle from the Modern Warfare 2 and the Warzone store," an Activision spokesperson confirmed to Eurogamer today.

The removal of Nickmercs' skin from sale has sparked a mix of reactions from Call of Duty fans and streamers, with big names calling for Activision to reconsider its decision. The full story on all that is below.

UPDATE 11/6/23: Activision's decision to remove streamer Nickmercs' skin from sale has prompted further division within the Call of Duty community, with fellow high-profile streamers siding with the now-removed FaZe clan co-owner.

Timthetatman, one of Call of Duty's most high-profile streamers with nearly five million YouTube subscribers and over a billion views, has now called on Activision to remove his own in-game bundle from sale as well, "in support of my friend".

"Nickmercs has been my friend for years," Timthetatman wrote on Twitter this morning, in a post which now has 185k Likes. "We went in getting our COD operators together. It feels wrong for me to have mine and him no longer have his. In support of my friend, please remove the Timthetatman bundle @CallofDuty."

Eurogamer has asked Activision for comment.

Call of Duty Season 4 was shown off at Summer Game Fest last week. Watch on YouTube

High profile streamer and controversy magnet Dr Disrespect has also offered his support for Nickmercs, and made a point of uninstalling Call of Duty live on-stream in response to Activision's removal of Nickmercs' skin.

"What we gotta do, is uninstall the game," he said. "Don't be mistaken, this year's Call of Duty is the worst in its franchise, but that decision by COD's PR marketing team, I'll tell you right now, that's a tough one... that's a tough one to digest.

"They need to publicly apologise to him, or re-instate his bundle, for me to consider playing Call of Duty again."

Nickmercs sparked controversy last week by commenting on a clash between protesters outside of a school where a discussion on whether to recognise Pride month was taking place. "They should leave little children alone," Nickmercs tweeted in response to footage of pro and anti-LGBT protestors involved in a mass brawl. "That's the real issue."

In a subsequent livestream, Nickmercs denied holding anti-LGBT beliefs, and said he would not delete the tweet.

"I simply feel that I want to be the one - and my wife wants to be the ones - to speak with my child about stuff like that," Nickmercs said. "And that was the tweet."

Nickmercs previously sparked controversy in 2022 by attempting to organise a maskless event in protest at TwitchCon San Diego's safety conditions, which included the need to wear face coverings and provide proof of having received a Covid vaccination or negative test.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/6/23: Activision has removed Nickmercs' Call of Duty skin from sale, after the streamer made an anti-LGBT+ comment.

The skin is no longer available to buy in both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone.

Nickmercs' comment was in response to a video shared by esports caster Chris Puckett in which pro-LGBT+ demonstrators were attacked outside of a school in California. "Americans are in a sad place right now," said Puckett. "Let people love who they love and live your own life."

Nickmercs replied: "They should leave little children alone. That's the real issue."

The response sparked outrage on the platform. Puckett replied: "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.

"As a dad I'm struggling to see the harm. Gay doesn't = pedo."

The following day on stream, Nickmercs refused to apologise for the tweet and denied holding anti-LGBT+ beliefs.

Activision followed up by removing Nickmercs' skin from the game's shop.

"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," it said on Twitter.

Nickmercs has not publicly responded to the skin's removal.

The streamer is a member of FaZe Clan, whose members are no strangers to controversy.

Last year, Cented was booted out for using discriminatory language, while another refused to support the group's Pride post.

2022 also saw the group become a publicly traded company, but six months later it was at risk of being delisted.

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