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It was revealed over the weekend that popular Fortnite player, Ninja has some very specific reasons for not streaming with female gamers. Given the fallout over those comments, he's since offered clarification. According to Ninja, his stance on not streaming with women is not intended to be a sexist move, but rather a protective one for his family.
Following this weekend's report on Polygon explaining why Tyler "Ninja" Blevins does not stream with female gamers, the king of Fortnite has been called out for everything from overreacting to being sexist. He offered a follow-up comment on Twitter, as he felt the situation needed further explanation.
...I want to make clear the issue I'm addressing is online harassment and my attempt to minimize it from our life. I wanted to bring attention to this issue and my comments should not be characterized as anything beyond that.
This is a sentiment Ninja tried to get across during his initial interview. He notes further down in the follow-up tweet that he and his wife are celebrating their one-year anniversary and his choices concerning who he streams with are an effort to protect his family. He goes on to list a handful of female streamers who are "a few of our favorites" and states he looks forward to playing with "all kinds of Fortnite players" in upcoming tournaments and events. In other words, his stance is that he has no issue playing with anyone, but he worries about the image his playing with women on streams might create.
This is certainly a tricky needle to thread with a lot of baggage attached. On the one hand, we fully believe folks should be able to see a woman and a man streaming together and not automatically start making assumptions about their relationship. And the only way we're going to get to that point is if more prominent streamers actually engage in these types of relationships. But on the other side of the spectrum, I can understand where Ninja is coming from. He has earned tremendous success at an early stage in his life and has every reason to worry about protecting that. More importantly, though, we are citizens of the internet and are well aware how people act in cyberspace. He's terrified of these types of rumors brewing in his life because he's seen how they impact the lives of others.
According to Ninja's initial interview, he feels that the only way to stop negative rumors about streaming with a woman from starting is simply to never stream with a woman in the first place. But, again, while he's in a prime position to combat terrible behavior on the internet by showcasing the way things should be, he also stands to lose the most if folks behave like children.