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Deadspin debunked after accusing young Kansas City Chiefs fan of wearing blackface


Deadspin had egg on its face after accusing a young Kansas City Chiefs fan of racism for wearing “Black face” without mentioning that half of the boy’s face was also painted red.

The edgy left-tilting sports blog published a profile shot of the boy wearing black paint at Sunday’s game to illustrate a story by Carron J. Phillips headlined, “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress.”

“This is what happens when you ban books, stand against Critical Race Theory, and try to erase centuries of hate,” fumed Mr. Phillips in the Monday article. “You give future generations the ammunition they need to evolve and recreate racism better than before.”

It wasn’t long before photos erupted on social media showing that the boy’s face was painted half red and half black, referencing the Chiefs’ colors and a common way for that team’s fans to display their team spirit.

Those calling out Deadspin included billionaire Elon Musk, owner of X, who amplified a “community note” on the platform that called the photo “misleading.”

“And another @CommunityNotes win exposing deception,” said Mr. Musk on X.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, added: “Deadspin should be ashamed. (They won’t be.)”

“Hey, @Deadspin, why don’t you stop attacking children?” Mr. Cruz said. “If you have difficulty grasping how to have some human decency, I’ll send you a free copy of my New York Times bestselling book, Unwoke. It has the best cure I know for the woke mind virus.”

Deadspin’s accusation that the boy was showing disrespect for American Indians also fell flat when the child’s mother, Shannon Armenta, said that her son is Native American.

“This has nothing to do with the NFL,” Ms. Arementa wrote on Facebook. “Also, CBS showed him multiple times and this is the photo people chose to blast to create division. He is Native American — just stop already.”

She reposted an item by the Real Kansas City Chiefs Fans page on Facebook, which has 352,000 followers, that applauded the boy and identified him as Holden Armenta.

“His Grandfather is on the Chumash Tribe board up in Santa Ynez,” said the page. “This is his family at Super Bowl LVII. Everyone is making a massive deal out of this and only trying to show one side of his face to push their narrative. Real Kansas City Chiefs Fans Salutes You Holden And Your Family.”

Mr. Phillips has defended his article, saying Monday on X that the wearing of both black and red paint could be “even worse.”

“For the idiots in my mentions who are treating this as some harmless act because the other side of his face was painted red, I could make the argument that makes it even worse,” Mr. Phillips said in the now-deleted post. “Y’all are the ones who hate Mexicans but wear sombreros on Cinco.”

Mixing it up Wednesday with Mr. Phillips on X was conservative actor and author Kevin Sorbo, who predicted a defamation lawsuit.

“Hey @carronJphillips @Deadspin when you’re done writing this kid a big fat check could you make up something about me? I’ll use the defamation suit to fund my next movie,” Mr. Sorbo said on X.

Undaunted, Mr. Phillips replied: “As if anybody would want to watch it.”

The Washington Times has reached out to Deadspin for comment.

Deadspin was lauded for breaking the Manti Te’o girlfriend-hoax story in 2013, but the blog has also landed in hot water for jumping to conclusions.

In 2014, Deadspin retracted a story claiming Republican Cory Gardner, who was elected that year to the Senate, faked his high school football career. Mr. Gardner responded by posting a yearbook photo wearing his football uniform.

Last year, Deadspin dismissed then-San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as “another young, white guy.” Mr. McDaniel’s father is Black. Deadspin has posted a correction atop the original article.

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