Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is the latest person and the first gamer to cover ESPN Magazine but not without backlash!
Ninja can check this ESPN cover off his bucket list and add it to the list of his other accolades like acquiring a huge Twitch following and playing Fortnite with rapper Drake. Unlike his other achievements, the ESPN cover is gaining him some serious backlash. ESPN, which stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, usually reserves their magazine covers for traditional athletes like basketball, soccer and tennis players.
— Ninja (@Ninja) September 18, 2018
Even with Ninja’s popularity, he’s faced harsh criticism in his own gaming community. He was attacked for refusing to stream with women out of respect for his wife. Before you say ‘Aww’ the Twitch streamer was also caught using a racial slur on cam. But despite all the drama Ninja has become one of the most popular gamers in a record-breaking amount of time. The gamer was relatively unknown in 2017 and now he’s made the cover of the biggest sports magazine but not without some fans disapproval.
In recent years people have started to consider online gaming as a sport. Online gamers such as Ninja are allegedly paid as well as some of the highest paid traditional athletes. The 27-year-old is reportedly cashing out at seven figures a month. Still, he says he fights to prove that gaming is a legitimate sport.
ESPN fans took to Twitter to express their disdain for the magazine’s latest cover boy.
If I could dislike a tweet it would be this garbage
— Mazeika (@mazeika_john) September 18, 2018
Still not a sport. Bill Gates out earns me too. He’s not an athlete either
— Karl Johnson (@simplyk06) September 18, 2018
THIS ISNT SPORTS
— Thom "F." Badinger (@fdotny) September 18, 2018
Do gamers count as ‘athletes’?! Let us know your thoughts on Ninja snagging the cover of ESPN Magazine at #TrendingAllDay!