The woke sports outlet Deadspin is facing online condemnation and ridicule after a reporter falsely accused a child of wearing “blackface” during a Kansas City Chiefs game Sunday.
“It takes a lot to disrespect two groups of people at once. But on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, a Kansas City Chiefs fan found a way to hate Black people and the Native Americans at the same time, reported Carron J. Phillips, apparently based on a single photo posted on X.
The photo shows a young boy wearing an American Indian headdress and with at least half of his face painted black during the Chief’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Nevada.
“The image of a Chiefs fan in Black face wearing a Native headdress during a road game leads to so many unanswered questions,” Phillips wrote in his report, titled, “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress.”
The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress https://t.co/9eGBsA8nca
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) November 27, 2023
Deadspin’s manufactured controversy quickly fizzled when additional facts about the the young super-fan, Holden Armenta, emerged.
Users “added context” in a community note by pointing out that other photos show that the other side Holden’s face was red. He was obviously showing support for the team by sporting the team’s colors on his face.
A few Chiefs players appeared to see the enthusiastic young fan, and clearly unoffended, decided to join Holden in his tomahawk chop.
JUST IN: The young boy who was labeled as wearing ‘blackface’ by Deadspin is Holden Armenta.
His mother, Shannon Armenta confirmed that her son was the one at the middle of the controversy on her Facebook page.
It gets even better: Chiefs players saw Holden during the game and… pic.twitter.com/jdIDhcul3Z
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 29, 2023
Moreover, the 9-year-old was proudly wearing the Native American headdress—because he is Native American himself.
Holden Armenta’s father is reportedly a member of the Chumash Tribe from Santa Ynez, California.
UPDATE: During Sundays broadcast Holden Armenta from California a Native that belongs to the Chumash Tribe. His dad is on the Chumash Tribe board up in Santa Ynez. Everyone is making a massive deal out of this and only trying to show one side of his face to push their narrative. pic.twitter.com/W3hZXA3WEE
— Real Kansas City Chiefs Fans (@RealKCChiefs) November 28, 2023
His mother, Shannon Armenta confirmed Tuesday night on her Facebook page that her son is an American Indian.
“Just stop already,” Armenta wrote. “He is Native American.”
Armenta shared numerous articles slamming Deadspin’s false reporting on her Facebook page.
“Relieved that most people stand behind us!” she wrote.
Phillips has deleted his tweets promoting his article, but incredibly, the article remains unchanged on Deadspin despite the new information.
“As of now, the league hasn’t released a statement on what took place in the stands in Las Vegas on Sunday,” Phillips wrote. “That photo of that fan floating around on the Internet is beyond a bad look for a league, while simultaneously being what should be expected from the NFL.”
American Greatness asked Armenta in a request for comment if she intends take legal action against Deadspin for its false, defamatory reporting, but did not receive an immediate reply.
Holden and his father Bubba Armenta appeared on Fox News’s Watters World Wednesday night to talk about what it’s like to be embroiled in a nationwide controversy.
“It’s okay, a lot of kids at school are getting excited but it’s starting to get me a little nervous because it’s a little overboard, it’s a little scary,” Holden said.
EXCLUSIVE: The 9-year-old Chiefs fan, who was falsely smeared as a racist for supporting his team, speaks out on Primetime.
Holden Armenta says this whole thing has been scary and overwhelming. His father, Bubba, says it's too late for an apology- the damage is already done. pic.twitter.com/8T4WsMsvm6
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) November 30, 2023