Deadspin vilified a 9-year-old Kansas City Chiefs fan last year for wearing face paint to a game. The article, penned by Deadspin senior writer Carron Phillips, alleged the boy “found a way to hate Black people and Native Americans at the same time.”
The family of the traduced child filed a lawsuit against Deadspin last week. Fortunately, the boy did not have to wait until the suit’s resolution for a major win.
Holden Armenta donned more paint and feathers to support his team Sunday and watched them beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in person at Super Bowl LVIII.
According to the Washington Examiner, a group led by Patriots Prayer host Eddie Smith along with “Skin in the Game” co-hosts Maurice — known online as the Native Patriot — and Anthony Chavez raised over $11,000 to send Armenta to the big game.
Their GiveSendGo campaign noted, “We believe in supporting Holden’s Superbowl [sic] dream to counteract the unjust treatment he received from the media. Our goal is to send Holden to the Superbowl, allowing him to experience the joy of being a dedicated Chiefs fan without the shadow of false accusations.”
Maurice told the Examiner, “Just the demonization that that kid went through and that family went through. I wanted to turn something dark into something light for them, so that way he can go back out there and basically get a second shot.”
The original article — which has since been partially revised but nevertheless maintains its initial argument — was entitled, “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress.”
Holden Armenta, a child of Chumash Indian heritage, had dared to wear his favorite team’s colors to the Chiefs-Raiders game on Nov. 26. Extra to his jersey and an Indian headdress, he painted one side of his face red and the other side black.
The Deadspin article featured an image of the child in profile such that only the black-painted side of his face could be seen.
Phillips’ article started off weighed down with presumptions: “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.”
Phillips exploited this false narrative to suggest that “this is what happens when you ban books, stand against Critical Race Theory, and try to erase centuries of hate. You give future generations the ammunition they need to evolve and create racism better than before.”
In addition to slamming the child, Phillips, who still writes for Deadspin, insinuated that Holden Armenta’s family “taught” the boy to hate black people and Indians.
When critics lashed out at Phillips and Deadspin over their hit piece targeting a child, Phillips doubled down, accusing his critics of being racist as well.
The family filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware on Feb. 6 seeking damages and a “narrowly-tailored injunction” prohibiting the republication of any statement or image found by the jury to be false and defamatory.
The suit stressed that the hit piece “maliciously and wantonly” attacked “a nine-year-old boy and his parents for Phillips’ own race-drenched political agenda.”
A race-obsessive writer evidently couldn’t hold Holden Armenta down.
Footage shows the boy decked out in his Indian war paint and headdress leaving a Nevada hotel with his father for the game. In addition to showing off his ceremonial touchdown dance, Holden also demonstrated his practiced tomahawk chop.
Shannon Armenta, the boy’s mother, indicated in a pregame video, “We are so grateful to everyone who has supported our family. It means the world to us, so thank you.
Eddie Smith said, “On to the next one, guys. This is just one victory in many.”
The Native Patriot wrote in a Sunday afternoon post to X, “I feel blessed and honored to be part of this movement. We have taken a dark smear against a child and turned it into something incredible! … I believe this is a huge win against cancel culture, and against the dark side of the media that only wishes to destroy, smear, and defame.”
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