There are only three African-American professional lacrosse players in the entire country. One of them refused to play because of the racially charged slogan “#NinjaPlease”, by Major League Lacrosse’s sponsor Warrior Sports.
Jovan Miller, a Syracuse graduate and former All-American, currently plays for the Charlotte Hounds, but this boycott could put an end to his future in the sport.
“If I won’t wear the uniform, obviously I can’t play,” Miller told WCNC.
A few weeks ago, Miller began noticing that some of his Twitter followers were using the hashtag “#NinjaPlease”.
Miller then found out “#NinjaPlease” was being used by Warrior Sports, as an advertising campaign. MLL shared the campaign on Facebook and retweeted it.
“It kind of alarmed me at first,” admitted Miller. “The actual meaning behind ‘Ninja Please’ is the ‘N-word Please.’ They put ninja in it to kind of disguise it.”
Urban Dictionary defines “Ninja Please” as a statement “used to replace ‘Negro Please’, which in turn replaces ‘Ni**a please’… when black people are present.”
David Gross, MLL’s commissioner told NBC Charlotte, “I honestly didn’t know what it meant until someone told me to look it up. MLL was simply posting and retweeting a sponsor. We deleted all of it after I found out what it meant.”
“This doesn’t just affect me. I’m not just speaking for myself. I’m speaking for every black man or black girl who has ever picked up a lacrosse stick,” Miller said.
Several of Miller’s teammates express their support and Warrior has since ended the campaign and put a stop to the slogan.