"It's just kind of like a respect thing."
Popular Fortnite streamer Ninja has revealed that he doesn’t “play with female gamers” as he has too much respect for his wife.
The US gamer, who is married t fellow streamer Jessica “JGhosty” Blevins, fears that it could lead to spurious rumours about him and the female gamers that he’s competing against.
Instead, he believes “the only way to avoid that is to not play with them at all”.
Ninja, who is the first Twitch streamer to reach 10 million followers, told Polygon: “”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 on every single video and be clickbait forever.”
He is also adamant that the decision was entirely his own choice.
“That was not even her. She had nothing to do with it. That was me being, ‘I love our relationship’,” he said.
“I honestly think that… it’s just kind of like a respect thing.”
His decision has prompted divisions among the gaming community – with a mixture of agreement and sharp dismissal.
Fellow streamer Valkyrae wrote: “Seeing tweets twisting Ninja’s decision to not playing w/ women. YouTube clips/clickbaits the worst for views.
“People are gullible. To hear rumors like “I heard he’s cheating on you” is 24/7 toxic to a relationship Respect decisions that limit drama in people’s personal lives.”
In the wake of the backlash, Ninja has since clarified his comments – admitting that he wants to battle against online harassment.
“I want to make clear the issue I’m addressing is online harassment, and my attempt to minimize it from my life”, he admitted.
“It is something that affects all streamers, especially ones that make their relationships public.”
He added: “I wanted to bring attention to this issue and my comments should not be characterized as anything beyond that.”