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Ninja breaks his silence on high taxes

Tyler "Ninja" Blevins recently made his triumphant return to streaming on Twitch. Fans were happy to see him back, but it didn't take too long for the superstar streamer to drum up a bit of controversy. During his return stream, Ninja went into a lengthy rant regarding income taxes that has turned the heads of fans and haters alike.

In a clip shared by Esports Talk, Ninja can be seen discussing taxes while playing a round of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. "I don't think people will understand," said Ninja"People are going to take this the wrong way, but I'm going to say it anyways ... Do you know how much it blows if you make, let's say, $50 million, that $25 million of that — literally gone in taxes?"

He then asked his viewers to "actually picture" the amount of work he puts into making his money, only to have around half of it going to "the government." Ninja doubled down on his frustration, saying he wished "someone would have told me in high school or in middle school, 'Hey, the money that you're gonna make for the rest of your life? Half of that, if you make a certain amount, is gone ... your elected officials are going to allocate the funds.'" 

Towards the end of the clip, Ninja said that his wife and manager, Jessica Blevins, asked him to drop the subject. It seems like she anticipated the kind of backlash that followed this stream, because there were plenty of people who weren't pleased with Ninja's taxation rant. For the most part, it seems like people on social media feel Ninja is out of touch. Some are expressing frustration that he's complaining about still being a millionaire, regardless of how much he had to pay in taxes.

As pointed out by Esports Talk host Jake Lucky, the sum of $50 million that Ninja keeps referring to probably didn't just come out of nowhere. In fact, with the multiple deals that Ninja has landed in the last year, he more than likely made somewhere close to that amount. Ninja was given a pretty hefty deal when he signed with Mixer last year. Combining that with donations and subscriptions from fans, as well as other lucrative sponsorship deals and the like, Ninja probably came very close to the number that he keeps mentioning in his diatribe against taxes. He's also reportedly poised to make a similar amount of money this year. Ninja was paid around $30 million when Microsoft shuttered Mixer, and he has just recently signed another exclusive deal with Twitch for an undisclosed (but likely impressive) sum of money. 

In other words, a lot of Ninja's complaints about taxes here feel less like he's sharing a hypothetical situation and more like he's actually complaining about something that really happened to him. It's not exactly the streamer's most relatable moment to share that he's had to pay such a huge amount in taxes, which is probably why there are plenty of people who were put off by Ninja's comments. 

Ninja's tax complaints also may not have sat particularly well with some folks because of comments he has made in the past regarding his income. In particular, Ninja made waves earlier this year with a particularly ridiculous claim regarding his wealth. During a stream, Ninja became frustrated with a fellow gamer and memorably told them, "Dude, I can literally purchase the bank that your house is being loaned out to [...] and f—ing foreclose. And then you can't talk sh-t to me 'cause you won't have internet."

This clip was famously commented on by TimTheTatman, who seemed genuinely shocked by Ninja's "flex" at the time. It seems that many other fans are on a similar wavelength, with many people feeling unwilling to sympathize with Ninja's tax issues when he's already bragged about how rich he is on more than one occasion.

However, some have argued that Ninja's main point here may have been misconstrued. As pointed out by Game Rant, one of Ninja's biggest issues here is that he has to pay higher taxes than many corporations and billionaires that are worth more than his brand.

Ninja covered this exact point in his stream, telling viewers, "Tax the rich more. Let me tell you what the issue is ... I think we have to find the people who are, you know, the billionaires and the millionaires, and the companies that are illegally not paying taxes and are hiding/evading taxes."

This is a solid point, but it still doesn't absolve Ninja of the issue that some fans are taking with his rant. At the end of the day, at least from the point of view of some of his Twitter followers, it seems like he's forgetting that he's still part of "the rich" he's referring to. Either way, it's highly unlikely that he'll try tackling this issue again in the future, especially considering the response from fans.