‘Call of Duty’ buried in backlash after booting pro gamer for simply saying ‘leave little children alone’

Beloved first-person shooter ‘Call of Duty’ is coming under fire after the company opted to remove a professional streamer’s very own operator bundle over comments they deemed offensive during ‘Pride’ month.

Nick Kolcheff, better known to friends and fans as “NickMERCS”, has made a name for himself in the video game and streaming communities. His wild popularity can be attributed to his skill with a controller and his competitive attitude, so it was no surprise when he was given his own operator bundle in Call of Duty.

Unfortunately, the pack was quickly pulled after Kolcheff made comments some are calling “offensive.”

Responding to the recent protest in Glendale, California over ‘Pride’ in schools, the streamer simply said “They should leave little children alone. That’s the real issue.”

The backlash was swift and brutal, but the worst came when COD made its announcement, opting to stand by ‘Pride’.

“Due to recent events, we have removed the ‘NICKMERCS Operator’ bundle from the Modern Warfare II and Warzone store,” they tweeted. “We are focused on celebrating PRIDE with our employees and our community.”

Noting that some people took offense to his comments, Kolcheff went on stream to clarify. However, he refused to back down from the principle of the matter.

“I just don’t think it’s any place for a teacher or a school — I don’t think it’s the place to speak about things like that,” he explained. “It’s not that I think it shouldn’t be spoken about. If that’s what you got from that tweet, then you’re just wrong.”

“I don’t have any quarrel with anybody in here,” Kolcheff continued. “I don’t have any quarrel with people on the internet. It wasn’t an anti — I guess — gay tweet. That wasn’t what it was. If you think that I hate you because you’re a certain way, you couldn’t be any more wrong.”

“I want to be the one — and my wife wants to be the one — to speak with our child about stuff like that. And that was the tweet. …I didn’t mean to upset anybody. I know that I did. I’m not apologizing about the tweet, because I don’t feel like it’s wrong. I’m gonna stand by what I said.”

It didn’t take long for Call of Duty fans to speak out against the company’s decision. Alex Zedra, the model for another of the game’s operators “Mara”, did not mince words.


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