Posted on December 10, 2023

Deadspin Offers Half-Hearted Apology After Legal Threat from Family of Young Kansas City Chiefs Fan

Caroline Downey, National Review, December 8, 2023

The sports blog that published a viral hit piece on a young Kansas City Chiefs fan over his Native American game-day costume added an editor’s note to the post on Thursday, saying the NFL — and not the nine-year-old fan — was the intended target.

Authored by senior writer Carron Phillips, the original story was headlined, “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress.” The piece urged the NFL to publicly condemn the boy for being insensitive towards the minority groups.

Holden Armenta had “found a way to hate Black people and the Native Americans at the same time,” Phillips argued.

Shannon Holden, the boy’s mother, responded by informing the public that her son is of Native American heritage, as his grandfather is a business committee member of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.


In a Thursday editor’s noteDeadspin offered a half-hearted apology to the boy for the hate he’s received since the incident, assuring that its “intended focus was on the NFL and its checkered history on race, an issue which our writer has covered extensively for Deadspin.”


This week, the family of young Armenta threatened to sue the outlet for publishing what they saw as defamatory claims. {snip}