The parents of a young Kansas City Chiefs fan who was accused of racism and blackface by Deadspin are now seeking legal action, asking for retraction of the initial story along with a public apology.
In late November, writer Carron J. Phillips, a senior writer with Deadspin, published a story on a young fan, Holden Armenta, at a Kansas City Chiefs game, accusing him of wearing blackface and claiming he was acting racist toward both black people and Native Americans. The boy’s face was painted half black and half red, and he was wearing a Native American headdress.
The outlet showed a photo of one side of the boy’s face covered in black face paint. However, it was clear from other photos that the boy’s face was half painted red, and he was clearly supporting the Chiefs. The outlet also accused the boy of racism against Native Americans over his headdress, but it was later revealed that he is of Native American descent, and his father and grandfather are members of the Chumash tribe.
The boy’s parents, Bubba and Shannon Armenta, have now hired Clare Locke LLP, demanding that Deadspin retract the story and threatening legal action against Phillips, Deadspin and the outlet’s parent companies, G/O Media and Great Hill Partners, according to a letter.
The firm also helped Dominion Voting Systems win a $787.5 million settlement against Fox News, which occurred in April.
“These articles, posts on X, and photos about Holden and his parents must be retracted immediately,” the letter read. “It is not enough to quietly remove a tweet from X or disable the article from Deadspin’s website. You must publish your retractions and issue an apology to my clients with the same prominence and fanfare with which you defamed them.”
This comes just a few days after the boy’s father said it was “a little too late” to receive an apology from the outlet, adding that the damage caused by the story “is already done,” adding that the last few days since the story’s publishing had been “pretty crazy” for the family.
Phillips has set his X account to private, preventing anyone from viewing his new or past posts. X owner Elon Musk said that Phillips, “is an unapologetic racist and a deceiver. Shame on him.”
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