Family of young Chiefs fan sues Deadspin over phony racism claim
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Deadspin is being sued over their shoddy reporting and false claims.
The family of 9-year-old Kansas City Chiefs fan filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in Delaware in which they accused Deadspin of smearing their child with a false and defamatory article.
The article was published on Nov. 27, 2023 by writer Carron J. Phillips, who accused the child of wearing “blackface” to a Chiefs game, which led Phillips to call the child and his family racist.
Phillips and Deadspin refused to back down even after being shown photo evidence that the child had his face painted in half black and half red to support the Chiefs.
BREAKING: The parents of the defamed 9-year-old Chiefs fan are suing Deadspin.
Deadspin smeared Holden Armenta (9) and falsely accused him of blackface & racism, leaving out the half of his face painted red (Chiefs colors). His grandfather is a Native American tribesman.
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) February 7, 2024
Since the article was published and created national headlines, the family alleges that they have been the target of online hate and death threats; the child’s father has been turned into an outcast at work; and that their son’s grades have slipped and he is showing signs of emotional damage.
BREAKING: The family of a young Chiefs fan is suing after Deadspin reporter Carron Phillips accused the boy of wearing blackface.
The complaint was filed against G/O Media Inc. & blasts Deadspin for “maliciously & wantonly” attacking Holden Armenta.
“By selectively… pic.twitter.com/gxmhyhENOF
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) February 7, 2024
As if Deadspin weren’t acting badly enough by publishing an outright lie about the child’s face paint, their accusation about the family disrespecting Native Americans completely backfired.
It turns out that the child’s father belongs to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and works on the tribal reservation. The child’s late grandfather was a highly respected tribe elder.
So Deadspin’s Phillips published a lie about the face paint, and made a completely unfounded, false accusation about the family hating Native Americans despite the family having a strong and proud Native American background.
But what really got them in trouble was their refusal to back down or make changes even after their lies were exposed.
Was kind of in disbelief seeing how Deadspin and G/O media handled this whole debacle. The majority of the legal peril they are in now is how they reacted versus the original article. Just kicking it around in the outfield as the runners circled the bases. https://t.co/F91TGFyOAX pic.twitter.com/ifg8Gqr3CP
— Ben Koo (@bkoo) February 7, 2024
The family of the boy is seeking punitive and/or exemplary damages. You can read the full legal complaint here.
Once one of the most prominent sports blogs that prided itself on its lack of favoritism 15-20 years ago, Deadspin has turned into a far-left opinions site centered around sports. The site originally went bankrupt in 2016 after Deadspin/Gawker was sued by Hulk Hogan for publishing a private sex video featuring the former wrestler. The site was purchased out of bankruptcy by Univision in 2016, and then sold to a private equity group in 2019 that created a holding company called G/O Media. Deadspin is one of several websites/brands that sits under the G/O Media umbrella.
Recently, Deadspin was sued by Trevor Bauer for making false claims about the pitcher.