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Twitch’s TF Blade is incredulous that Twitch has suspended him for dropping a racial slur during a stream. That’s because the popular gamer insists he never said the N-word in the first place.
TF Blade, who has more than 400,000 followers who watch him play League of Legends on Twitch, was gaming this week when he apparently let loose with a slur. But video of the incident was inconclusive, and TF Blade—whose real name is Ashkan Homayouni—said Twitch officials “misheard” what he said. He was originally suspended for 30 days for the racist language but the ban has since been cut to seven days.
Despite writing “LMAO” in a tweet when announcing the news, TF Blade is not happy about it.
“I actually just got suspended on twitch for something I never said but twitch missheard [sic]and assumed I did. LMAO,” he wrote.
I actually just got suspended on twitch for something I never said but twitch missheard and assumed I did. LMAO
— TF Blade (@tfblade) April 23, 2019
In this clip, posted on Reddit, it’s hard to tell exactly what he says. Though Twitch backed down slightly, it still felt the need to punish him. Which makes TF Blade incredulous.
“THIS IS JUST NOT RIGHT, they just told me that they are leaving the wrongful suspension for 7 days????” he wrote on Twitter. “They are literally going to just ruin my reputation on a mistake that is on their side, this is truly unfair. All the sponsors will look at this without the full context and take the wrong point. I am seriously frustrated with this.”
He’s not the only streamer under fire after being accused of racism.
In March, popular streamer Pokimane was accused of using a racial slur though she successfully argued that she actually said the word “Anivia,” a character in the League of Legends game (a few days later, an old clip of her using the N-word was discovered, and she had a much harder time explaining that incident). Earlier this week, CalebHart42 was punished after he pulled up a Discord chat box during a stream that showed him using a racial slur.
Twitch doesn’t publicly comment on why or for how long individual streamers are punished, but TF Blade posted an email he said he received from the platform explaining the decision to ban him and then reduce his punishment.
“I’ve been told that after you submitted your appeal, to be as objective as possible they had numerous people listen to the clip, and unfortunately they all also heard the N word,” the email states. “Even after asking to listen for idiots, they couldn’t hear it. Because of that, they were originally leaning toward leaving the full 30 day suspension. That being said, I relayed your response, and highlighted your history, specifically your lack of previous infractions, and after further review, the appeals team has agreed to reduce your suspension from 30 days down to 7 days.”
The email also said Twitch didn’t believe TF Blade was being “hateful” or that he’s a “hateful person.”
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.