Following the documentaries on R. Kelly and Michael Jackson, sexual abuse, especially when it involves minors, is on everyone’s mind, and detractors should look no further than the events that transpired last week in the Super Smash Bros. community, of all places, for evidence that this is a major problem worldwide.
This past Friday, Tamim, once known as one of the top Super Smash Bros. players in the world, announced that he was leaving the community because he couldn’t deal with the toxicity and sexual misconduct that he has witnessed over the years.
“There’s a lot of players you guys praise without knowing the sickening things they’ve done,” he stated in a since-deleted Tweet, “not gonna lie I’m really f**king sad.”
What followed might not have been the best way to go about discussing the predatory behavior of some of the world’s best players, as Tamim accidentally named the victims as the story progressed, but he accused a fellow-Canadian player and EVO 2016 champion, Ally (age 28), of sexual misconduct with a minor.
If something happening to you, Please speak up. I know it’s not easy to do that and it takes a lot of courage to do so, but these people can’t away with this and it pains me that it keeps on happening and happening. Your friends and the support will always be there for you ❤️
— Elegant (@Elegant_Matt) March 22, 2019
It’s not easy to expose abusers, and while I am in no position to say whether or not the allegations against Ally are true or false, what’s important is that Tamim tried to have the conversation and opened the floor for victims of sexual misconduct to come forward.
Later that night, fellow-Smash Bros. players in the community expressed their support for Tamim, including Elegant (above) and Tweek (below), the latter of the two currently one of the top five greatest players in the world.
I’ll just say this, I’m going to miss Lima and Tamim so much. A while back I was in a very rough spot and Tamim is honestly the reason I’m still here. My life has been changing very drastically as of late, and I feel like it’s starting to sink in now. Time to cry a bit lol
— TSM Tweek (@TweekSsb) March 23, 2019
In the following days, Tweek posted a video from one of his streams that got the attention of Chicago rapper and producer Saba, who put out last year’s incredible record Care For Me, commenting with the “mind-blown” emoji. While it was a really exciting interaction (something I called my “new favorite crossover”), it did more than simply inform me that one of my favorite rappers was also into something that I believed to be a very niche interest of mine.
— SABA (@sabaPIVOT) March 24, 2019
It all reminded me that while Super Smash Bros. Esports might seem like a niche scene, toxic behavior still exists, and no matter how small you might think a problem is, or how insignificant it might seem to speak out, it’s important to do so because there’s a whole world of people you couldn’t imagine out there who will come to your support. One of your favorite rappers likes the niche thing you like, imagine who else is there to stand with you as well.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.