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Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins' Most Controversial Moments

There may be no name on the planet more synonymous with Fortnite than Ninja. Born Tyler Blevins, Ninja started his career as a professional Halo player. But games weren't always part of his future plan after that. He attended college. He played on his school's soccer team. And he even worked at a restaurant to pay the bills.


Things went next-level, though, when he discovered video game streaming. And, more specifically, when he started playing Fortnite for his viewers.

From that point on, it was off to the races.

Now Ninja is pulling in nearly half a million dollars per month, and has played with countless celebrities, including Drake and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. And though younger viewers make up a big bulk of his audience, he's also made fans out of parents, who love that he makes a concerted effort to keep his channel clean. He keeps swearing to a minimum, and unlike YouTubers Jake and Logan Paul, he keeps himself out of trouble.

Still, there have been some slip-ups. Though the instances are rare, Ninja hasn't always stayed entirely clear of controversy. Those instances are the ones we'll be looking at today.


Here are Ninja's most controversial moments.

He once used the N-word during a stream

If there's ever a no-no when it comes to what you can and can't do at your job, it's using a racial slur. It'll likely get you canned, whether you're the CEO of a major company or you're working the front desk at the Econo Lodge. And it's definitely not a great idea if you're an online personality, where there'll likely be recorded footage of you doing so, and that footage will live on for eternity. Because nothing on the internet ever truly goes away, right?


Ninja made this mistake back in March of 2018 during a stream. He was rapping along with a song called "44 More" by Logic, and, according to Polygon, ended up "substituting a word used in the song with a derogatory, racist term."

You can understand why this would be a problem. To start, using a racial slur is pretty universally recognized as wrong, and you shouldn't really need another reason after that. But to go further, the move put Ninja in conflict with Twitch's terms of service. And he wound up alienating some of his fan base, who felt hurt and disrespected by the slur.

Ninja eventually issued an apology, stating, "I apologize to anyone who might feel hurt because I NEVER want that. It's my stream, and it's on me to make that right."


He released the address of a viewer who donated with a racist message

On the other side of the coin, Ninja has shown that he won't tolerate racism in his channel from viewers. And that holds true even if those viewers are giving him money. But there's one case where Ninja went about handling a racist the complete wrong way, and this time, he couldn't just issue an apology to fix the situation.


He had to serve out a 48-hour suspension from Twitch.

It happened during one of Ninja's streams, where he routinely receives donations from those who tune in to watch. They're usually a few dollars here and a few dollars there. One of the perks to donating is that you get to see your name show up on Ninja's stream. And, for just a few seconds, your name is up in lights, visible for all the world to see as Ninja plays his game. People love it.

But one particular individual tried to take advantage and make a donation, presumably, to do some trolling. He dropped Ninja some money and used a racial slur as his name, causing the term to show up on stream. Instead of reporting the user to Twitch, Ninja retaliated by publishing the donor's home address. That's called doxxing, and it's against Twitch's terms of service.


Ninja's suspension came soon after.

He told the world he chooses not to stream with women

If you're a regular viewer of Ninja's Twitch streams, you might have noticed something rather peculiar. Sure, he'll play alone and chat with his viewers. He'll of course play with the occasional big-name celebrity from time to time. And he'll often team up with other streamers, whether they're doing battle in Fortnite or some other title.


But outside of his wife, you won't ever see another woman on Ninja's Twitch channel. Why? Because he thinks his community will conjure up a bunch of rumors.

"If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we're playing with one another, and even if there's a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put up on every single video and be clickbait forever," he told Polygon.

Needless to say, some female streamers weren't thrilled with his reasoning. Riley J. Dennis, for instance, thought that everyone should "start shipping him with male streamers so he can either stream with everyone or no one." But others felt he wasn't entirely off base. In a post on Twitter, a streamer named Valkyrae said that everyone should "respect decisions that limit drama in people's personal lives."


At press time, it doesn't appear Ninja has altered his "no girls" policy.

He said that Drake used his stream to sell more albums

Ninja's famous Fortnite stream with Drake was a huge cultural moment, not just because it put a bigger spotlight on the already-popular Fortnite, but because it put Ninja on the mainstream media's radar. Everyone was fascinated that Drake, a famous person in the more traditional sense, was joining up with an internet celebrity famous for playing video games.


The only person who didn't seem that high on the event was Ninja after the fact.

In a later Twitch stream, Ninja laid his feelings bare playing with Drake, stating, "I feel like Drake saw that I was up-and-coming in the gaming scene, and he thought it would be the perfect way to just tap into another source of viewers by playing with me."

It sounds innocent enough, but Ninja also mentioned Drake's album that was dropping at the time, and that Drake was also launching a line of merchandise to go along with the album.

"Is he gonna buy my next line of Ninja merch? Or my Ninja headband?" Ninja asked. "Probably not."

Drake didn't appreciate the slight, apparently. He unfollowed Ninja on Instagram soon after.


He called Halo esports a "joke"

Before the Twitch fame, Ninja made his name playing Halo. So anytime Ninja has anything to say about the long-running Microsoft series, people perk up and listen. But Ninja didn't have anything nice to say about Halo in August 2017. In fact, he took a huge swipe at the game's esports body that can be summed up with a single quote:


"It's a joke."

Ninja's unhappiness with Halo came out in a YouTube video he uploaded to announce that he wouldn't be competing in the Halo Championship Series Pro League that fall. He was irked by the fact that the Series finals were taking place on the same weekend as TwitchCon, which Ninja understandably wanted to attend. "It's just a massive gathering and I can't miss that," he said of TwitchCon.

He then continued to take aim at the HCS, stating that his issue with it wasn't necessarily the people in charge, but that "there is no budget there and there's definitely not enough people or staff. It's because they don't f***ing care. It's a joke."

Ninja's team at the time, Luminosity Gaming, had to change their roster as a result of Ninja not taking part in the HCS.


He doesn't feel video game addiction is a legitimate mental health issue

According to WebMD, an overabundance of video game playing can sometimes be considered an addictive behavior. Psychiatrist Michael Brody, MD, says those who are addicts usually meet two criteria: "The person needs more and more of a substance or behavior to keep him going," and "If the person does not get more of the substance or behavior, he becomes irritable and miserable." The World Health Organization has gone a bit further than that, labeling video game addiction a disease.


Ninja, however, isn't buying it.

Upon learning about the WHO's video game addiction designation, Ninja posed some questions that offended some of his viewers.

"So when you watch 10 hours or 20 hours of TV a week, is that a mental illness? Is that a disorder?" he asked. "What a joke, man. Politics man. It's such garbage."

There's no indication that Ninja has addressed the topic since.

He blew a friend off due to vulgarity, then played with a vulgar streamer

Ninja is well-known for running a tight ship on his Twitch channel. Sure, he'll get a bit rowdy from time to time. But he's very aware that his audience skews toward the younger side. And he's acknowledged in the past that parents have actually expressed relief that they can let their kids watch Ninja's stream. So Ninja is usually careful about who he streams with.


That was Ninja's thinking when he cut down playing time with his friend, Myth. Myth has a knack for summoning curse words, and Ninja wanted to keep the vulgarity off of his channel. Unfortunately, he turned right around and brought some in.

During another Twitch session, Ninja streamed with a rapper called Lil Yachty who swore repeatedly throughout the broadcast. This led many of Ninja's viewers in chat to label him a hypocrite because, in their eyes, he ditched out on his friend who swore and then played with someone who swore a lot more.

This apparently bothered Ninja enough that he felt compelled to apologize, which he did on a later stream. But that apparently wasn't enough for some. In YouTube comments capturing the apology, with one viewer remarking, "Myth stood by him and defended him" when Ninja said the n-word on stream and Ninja repaid him by "[stabbing] him in the back."