A senior writer at Deadspin was slammed online by a young football fan’s mom on Monday after he claimed the boy was “doubling up on the racism” against Black and Native American communities by wearing a headdress and painting his face red and black at a Kansas City Chiefs game.
The reporter, Carron Phillips, wrote an article on Monday morning headlined, “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress.” The screenshot used was a side view of the boy’s face, which only showed the part painted black. Phillips criticized numerous parties, including the child, Holden Armenta, writing, “It takes a lot to disrespect two groups at once.”
He continued: “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 recreate racism better than before.”
Holden’s mother, Shannon Armenta, angrily responded, sharing several images of her son with his full face in view. In a Monday Facebook post, she suggested that Deadspin had intentionally picked a photo that concealed the red paint on Holden’s face to “create division.” She then said Holden was actually Native American, which was confirmed by the Canadian news magazine The Post Millennial.
The sports blog posted the article on X, formerly Twitter, and was met with a Community Note on Monday night that stated, “The picture on the article is misleading. Other pictures of the child in question show that the other half of his face is painted red, black and red being the team’s colors.”
X owner Elon Musk even weighed in on the issue, writing, “And another @CommunityNotes win exposing deception.”
But according to the Canadian news magazine, Phillips refused to back down in a since-deleted X post, writing: “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 it makes it even worse.” He later added, “Y’all are the ones who hate Mexicans but wear sombreros on Cinco [de Mayo].”
Sinclair’s The National Desk reported Tuesday that the post led to another Community Note, reading: “Deadspin’s author failed to provide full context of the photo presented in the article, which is a boy wearing face paint of which the two colors (black and red) represent the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team.”
Deadspin did not respond to a request for comment from The National Desk on Tuesday.