Activision has pulled the Nickmercs Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone skin after the Faze Clan streamer posted an anti-LGBTQ+ tweet.
The official Call of Duty Twitter account replied to a post from Call of Duty-focused website CharlieIntel that speculated the Nickmercs skin was removed due to the anti-LGBTQ+ comment.
"Due to recent events, we have removed the 'NICKMERCS Operator' bundle from the Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone store," it said. "We are focused on celebrating Pride with our employees and community."
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.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) June 9, 2023
Nickmercs, a Faze Clan member who has 6.7 million followers on Twitch and two million on Twitter, replied to a tweet from eSports broadcaster Chris Puckett that showed a clash between anti and pro LGBTQ+ demonstrators outside a school voting to recognise June as Pride Month.
"They should leave little children alone. That's the real issue," Nickmercs tweeted in response.
The replies erupted in backlash from several users including Puckett himself. "Who is this 'they' and what terrible act is everyone afraid of?" he asked. "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 reported by PC Gamer, Nickmercs refused to apologise for his comment or take down the tweet in a stream the following day, but denied holding anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs and said he didn't mean to upset anyone.
In a tweet on Friday – with his original tweet still posted – Nickmercs appeared to address the controversy but still didn't apologise, writing, "Friends are created in good times, but families are built through adversity. Appreciate all of you that have my back, understand my position as a new father & recognize the love I have for all. Ain’t no hate in this heart. P&L"
Friends are created in good times, but families are built through adversity. Appreciate all of you that have my back, understand my position as a new father & recognize the love I have for all. Ain’t no hate in this heart. P&L 🤝
— FaZe Nickmercs (@NICKMERCS) June 9, 2023
The Nickmercs skin was released in Call of Duty on May 31, 2023, and it's unclear if it will return to the game or if Activision has removed it for good.
The incident outside the school saw three people arrested on charges including obstructing officers and unlawful use of pepper spray, the Los Angeles Times reported. The school board members voted unanimously to recognise June as Pride Month.
IGN has contacted Faze Clan and Activision for comment.
Update, June 9: Updated to include a recent tweet from Nickmercs.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.