The competitive Super Smash Bros. community tweeted #UnBanNairo en masse on Feb. 26 in an attempt to get Twitch to reverse its ban on Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada. Within a half hour, it became the No. 1 Twitter trend in the United States.
Nairo was one of many Smash players ostracized from the community following a wave of sexual assault allegations last summer. Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth accused Nairo of engaging in sexual acts with him while Nairo was 20 and CaptainZack was 15. Nairo initially deactivated his Twitter account, then reactivated it to issue an apology on July 2 before deactivating again.
However, Nairo effectively rescinded his apology in a statement he released on Oct. 28. He alleged that CaptainZack had raped him, initiating both of their sexual encounters. In a video uploaded last week, Nairo expressed his interest in returning to livestreaming, but noted that Twitch banned his account in September.
As a result, Zain “Monkeyman” Hussain initiated an organized movement to get #UnBanNairo trending on Twitter. He also created a document with a full timeline of events relating to the accusations against Nairo, encouraging Smash community members to share the document in order to explain their push to restore Nairo’s Twitch account.
We're gonna try to make a real organized effort to get #UnBanNairo trending. At around 3 PM EST on Friday, everyone tweet it preferably with context so it can blow up 👍 Also I will try to get some big community figures involved so we have a large chance for it to trend.
— Monkeyman (@Monkeyman1775) February 25, 2021
Smash community pushes for Twitch to unban Nairo
Many top Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players participated in the effort to get Twitch to unban Nairo. These included Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez, Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson and Rasheen “Dark Wizzy” Rose, among many others. In addition, Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan tweeted for the first time since November in support of the movement.
— T1 | MkLeo (@Mkleosb) February 26, 2021
In the summer Nairo was banned due to certain allegations and an admission of guilt
Months later we found out that was admission was false
We have significantly more information which shows he was almost certainly a victim
It's not fair for Twitch to
— Liquid | Dabuz (@DabuzSenpai) February 26, 2021
#UnbanNairo @Twitch @TwitchSupport Before I was anything on Twitch, I was a naifu. Nairo brought a lot of joy to the platform, and with new information the ban seems very unjust. Please let Nairo stream again.
— CLG Void (@gsmVoiD) February 26, 2021
Nairo has been unjustly banned from his Twitch channel despite new information indicating he is a victim of rape.
His Twitch was https://t.co/yxF73ux8Lr
He deserves to have this back
— ⚔️ Dark Wizzy ⚔️ (@Dark_Wizzy_) February 26, 2021
Nairo beat the body now he on that get back #UnBanNairo
— Kola (@Kola_irl) February 26, 2021
Others tempered their expectations in regard to the efficacy of the movement. William “Leffen” Hjelte stated that he is personally inclined to believe Nairo’s account, but that he does not expect Twitch to reverse Nairo’s ban just because he reached a legal settlement. Esports writer Tim Masters noted that the legal facts of the case are largely unknown, and he suggested that fans of Nairo are pushing a narrative without knowing all of the information.
Regsrdless of what side you are on the #Unbannairo movement, I find it highly unlikely Twitch will unban him.
Legally settling does not prove innocence in a legal sense, especially depending on what the lawsuit was over. For twitch that's probably not enough by a long shot-
— Leffen (@TSM_Leffen) February 26, 2021
There is no evidence that exonerates Nairo or proves his innocence. Right now there is a NDA between Nairo and Zack, and a lot of Nairo fans pushing a narrative. Think about tha before making another hasty decision if you're going to tweet today. https://t.co/iaiJCm5bLv
— Tim Masters (@TimMEsports) February 26, 2021