Jovan Miller, a Black lacrosse player for the Charlotte Hounds, has publicly boycotted the slogan "Ninja please" used by Major League Lacrosse's sponsor Warrior Sports. The phrase, a twist on the commonly known "n---a please," has spurred the midfielder to speak out against the racially charged tagline.
The slogan is part of the sports apparel company's ad campaign for its "Dojo" shoe. It came to Miller's attention after he noticed Twitter followers using it as a hashtag. Once the 23-year-old player discovered that the creator of the slogan was the same company that provided his team uniform, he took to Twitter to express his disappointment and give away his gear.
"It kind of alarmed me at first. The actual meaning behind 'Ninja Please' is 'the N-word Please.' They put ninja in it to kind of disguise it," the former All-American told local NBC affiliate WCNC. "Honestly, it was offensive. I didn't feel like there was necessarily malice behind it, but I felt like they knew they could get away with it. Warrior is a company that prides itself on being 'edgy' but this is too far."
The league's commissioner has removed the sponsor's offending line from its social media while Warrior Sports apologized Friday and has taken down all advertisements referencing the phrase.
"We are not using it anymore, and we do apologize if it was taken the wrong way," Warrior Sports' chief marketing officer Dave Dixon told NBC Charlotte, the Observer's news partner. "If we had thought it was going to be offensive, we wouldn’t have done it."
Miller is a Syracuse graduate and one of three Black professional players in Major League Lacrosse. He said his future with the league is unsure as he's unwilling to wear Warrior's gear.
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(Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)