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Smash Ultimate
News > Fighting Games > Smash Ultimate
World

Smash pro Salem regrets role in CaptainZack and Nairo's relationship: "I made a huge mistake"

The 26-year-old issued another statement amid some section of the community's efforts in getting Nairo unbanned from Twitch.
The Smash scene was rocked hard this past summer, as multiple allegations of sexual misconduct saw important community members disappear from the picture, with Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada being accused by Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth of engaging in sexual acts with him while Zack was still a minor.

Nairo would lose his NRG sponsorship and get banned by Twitch and Smash tournament organizers, however, Quezada fought back against Zack's claims and later confirmed the situation was "legally" taken care of and is now focusing on moving forward with his career, eyeing a return to streaming and content creation.

Amid Nairo's decision to return and the #UnbanNairo movement within the Smash community, Saleem "Salem" Young, has issued an apology for encouraging Zack to pursue a relationship with Nairo while Lauth was underage, as Salem explains that he didn't know at the time Quezada was an adult.

Salem, who was texting with CaptainZack as the incident with Nairo was taking place, was accused of not stepping in and advising Zack against the decision to continue his approaches with Nairo. 

salem nairo captainzack controversy
(Picture: Team Liquid)

"I never paid attention to Nairo's age like that. I assumed he was like 16-17 at most," Salem explained, adding that he "was happy for Zack to be happy in a relationship I thought was just two kids."

Salem doesn't shy away and addresses the biggest criticism against his responses during his text conversations with Zack. "Yes I see that in what I said makes it look like I'm enabling pedophilia. I made a huge mistake, this doesn't excuse me making assumptions and not questioning Nairo's age once during the times I saw them together."

Salem then proceeds to reiterate points he made in a statement weeks ago, about how he would eventually find out about Zack's lies, how fellow Smash pro player Ezra "Samsora" Morris knew everything from the start and how Zack's friends convinced him of making the twitlonger document accusing Nairo.

CaptainZack Salem text messages
(Picture: CaptainZack)

"I DM'd Zack and he told me his 'friends convinced him to make a twitlonger' and he needed my help for proof. I just wanted to help because I thought he was just some troubled kid that was being manipulated."

Salem has been recently banned by Cagt and other prominent tournament organizers, and it seems unlikely this new apology is going to get him unbanned anytime soon.