Deadspin Quietly Tries To Tweak Story
A sports outlet is facing backlash after posting a story accusing a young Kansas City Chiefs fan of wearing "blackface" at a recent game. The article, written by Carron J. Phillips, called out the fan for his use of traditional Native American headdress and face paint.
However, the story has since been amended, following threats of legal action from the fan's family. The outlet, Deadspin, added an editor's note expressing regret for any suggestion that they were attacking 9-year-old Holden Armenta.
The original article, titled "The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress," featured a photo of Holden in profile wearing the headdress and face paint. The new version of the article now features a photo of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell instead.
In the editor's note, Deadspin explained that their intended focus was on the NFL's failure to enforce rules against wearing headdresses and face paint at games. The Kansas City Chiefs have a rule in place banning fans from wearing headdresses and face paint that "appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions."
However, the initial reporting by Phillips stirred up controversy on social media. Holden's mother, Shannon Armenta, took to Facebook to defend her son and share the positive reception he received at the game. She also revealed that Holden is actually of Native American heritage, with his grandfather serving on the board of the Chumash Tribe in Santa Ynez, California.
Phillips, however, refused to back down and defended his reporting. In a now-deleted post, he argued that the use of both black and red face paint only made the situation worse.
Holden later spoke to Fox News, stating that it was "a little scary" to be labeled as a racist by the media. His family eventually threatened to sue Deadspin and Phillips if the story was not retracted.
This incident serves as a reminder of the power and responsibility of media outlets to report accurate and responsible information. The situation also highlights the importance of fact-checking and verifying sources, especially when it comes to sensitive topics such as race and cultural appropriation.