National Guard Twitch Streamer Repeats Anti-Semitic Phrase Live After Donation
On August 27, while streaming on Twitch, Axel “ZexsOG” Torres, a member of the Army National Guard, said “Yo, six million wasn’t enough,” a phrase used by white supremacists and neo-nazis in reference to the six million Jewish people killed during the Holocaust.
It’s unclear if Torres was actually repeating the antisemitic phrase or referencing a Twitch viewer with the username “6millionwasnt_nough” who made a donation while watching his teammates play Call of Duty: Warzone. Torres went on to say, “Thank you so much for the follow, I appreciate you.” The viewer later clipped Torres’ comment and saved it on Twitch under the caption, “Army Agreed.”
“This was an unfortunate situation and goes against the Army values of fostering inclusiveness and diversity. We are working with our volunteers on the [Army National Guard] Twitch Page to educate them on-screen names that may have racial or negative sentiment behind them,” Lieutenant colonel Jamie Alan Davis of the Army National Guard told Motherboard in an email.
Davis added that the COVID-19 pandemic has led recruiters to use online resources to connect with their target audience, noting that the clip had been deleted and members had been advised to avoid announcing offensive screen names during live streams.
On his Facebook page, which went private yesterday afternoon, Torres has shared posts hailing Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse as a hero and saying that “welfare destroyed black families.” He has also supported a bill that would supposedly refuse welfare checks to “rioters,” and made numerous homophobic comments.
The US military has been criticized for using Twitch as a recruiting tool by posting ads that target minors on the streaming service. On Saturday, a member of the US Navy esports team was playing a game on an official Navy stream with “close friends” with usernames “Japan 1945,” “Nagasaki,” and “Gamer Word,” which has been used to signify the n-word. After the incident was publicized, the sailor was dismissed from the team.
In an email, Commander Lara Bollinger of the US Navy Public Affairs Office told Motherboard that the Navy was reevaluating how non-military players are vetted before being allowed to play on official Navy streams. However, it seems unlikely that the military will be able to monitor the countless hours spent by service members playing online or their interactions with viewers.
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