Former Overwatch League player Ted “silkthread” Wang leaked an email revealing the OWL fining him $1,000 over a Pepe the Frog post. Although the occurrence happened back in season one, Silkthread shared some reflection over the situation.
The clip that’s gone viral is a snippet of Silkthread’s Twitch stream as he explains his OWL fine. The email was a direct result of him asking Twitter a simple question. He asked, “Does anyone else love Pepe the frog?” Unfortunately, this was not received well by the OWL as some people considered Pepe the frog to represent hate and racism.
This is unbelievably hilarious. https://t.co/DjhwgEONuP
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) July 25, 2020
For some backstory, artist Matt Furie created the original Pepe the frog meme. Unfortunately, a group of alt-right users appropriated the meme in 2015. As Pepe continued to be used problematically, The Anti-Defamation League added it to its database of hate symbols.
Although he may have not meant harm with his tweet, he quickly deleted it once finding out it would be a problem. Unfortunately, the OWL still noticed the post and decided to move ahead with a punishment.
Getting fined and appealing it
On his stream, he presented to his viewers an email sent to him by the OWL. The email started by stating, “This behavior is unacceptable.” It continued by suggesting that his comments violated the OWL’s spirit of diversity and inclusiveness. As a result, the League decided to fine him $1,000 over support for a racist meme.
In the end, Silkthread disputed the fine and claimed he was unaware of the Pepe being a racist meme. He then reflected on what happened, and stated, “thinking back, it probably would have smarter to take the fine. It would be pretty f-cking cool to get ‘legacized’ as the person that got fined for tweeting about Pepe the frog.”
It seems like the OWL has eased up on the use of the meme since then. Recently, Dallas Fuel player Dylan “aKm” Bignet posted a Pepe meme celebrating his birthday. Overall, it’s still a popular meme being used throughout Twitch and other websites, regardless of its bad connotations.
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