Warrior Lacrosse, one of the sport’s preeminent equipment companies, recently ran a promotion in which it gave away pairs of its Dojo shoes to people who used the hashtag “Ninja Please.”
Jovan Miller, a midfielder on the Charlotte Hounds and one of just three African-Americans playing Major League Lacrosse, said that he is boycotting Warrior products because of it.
“The actual meaning behind ‘Ninja Please’ is the ‘N-word Please,’” Miller told WCNC. “They put ninja in it to kind of disguise it.”
While Miller is sponsored by Warrior’s rival, Maverick, the MLL was co-founded by Warrior founder David Morrow. All the teams in the league wear Warrior equipment, and MLL promoted the campaign through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“As far as Major League Lacrosse is concerned, I do believe they were just ignorant to what the phrase was,”Miller told WCNC. ”But in those [Warrior] offices, when someone came up with that phrase, I believe they knew exactly what they were talking about.”
Major League Lacrosse Commissioner David Gross told WCNC that he was unaware of the expression’s actual meaning.
“I honestly didn’t know what it meant until someone told me to look it up,” Gross said. “MLL was simply posting and retweeting a sponsor. We deleted all of it after I found out what it meant.”