On Thursday, Dan Bongino opened his program with his face painted in the classic black and red colors of the Kansas City Chiefs. This act was a symbolic gesture of support for the young Chiefs fan who had been accused of racism and embroiled in controversy.
Bongino’s message was clear and direct: he rejects the cancel culture perpetuated by liberal America. “So folks, sometimes you just got to give the double-barreled middle finger and tell cancel culture portions of liberal leftist socialist communist America,” Bongino said as he flipped off the camera.
“You can take cancel culture in a nice ball. You can roll it up just like this big or small, I don’t really care. You can take it and you can stick it right up your ass!”
His face paint served as a dedicated statement to those like Carron Phillips of Deadspin, who had smeared the young fan by misinterpreting his game-day attire as blackface.
“No offense to people named Karen, again my name is Dan, but I’m not taking the cancel culture bullsh*t anymore and I suggest you don’t either. I suggest everybody show up at every NFL game this weekend, college game as well, and paint your face just like I did,” Bongino continued.
Holden Armenta and his father, Bubba, sat with Jesse Watters Wednesday night and shared their reflections about the days since Sunday’s game when Holden appeared on the stadium’s Jumbotron and grabbed the attention of the reporter at Deadspin, who wrote the article that kicked off the controversy.
“That sweet young kid who did the right thing, not the easy thing, representing his team. Stand strong, brother. We’re all with you. Paint your face too. Show these cancel culture a*sholes we really don’t care,” said Bongino.
Despite the support from friends and community, Holden and his dad expressed their nervousness due to the global attention and the backlash that followed.
“It’s been a little bit of a spiral,” Holden’s father, Bubba Armenta, said.
Asked how he is holding up, the younger Armenta put on a cheerful face and said his friends and community have been behind him. He said he is also excited to attend next Sunday’s game where Chiefs Nation has pledged to wear the half-black, half-red face paint that originally drew attention to him.
“It’s okay because a lot of kids at school are getting excited but it’s starting to get me a little nervous because if they go a little bit overboard, it’s a little scary,” Holden said.
“I don’t even know what to think about that. It’s a little too late for that. The damage is already done. It’s worldwide. Now there’s comments all over, there’s disrespect toward Native Americans and toward my family. We never in any way, shape, or form ever meant to disrespect any Native Americans. The tribe we’re from doesn’t even wear that headdress. This specific headdress is a novelty piece, it’s a costume piece. That’s exactly what we’d purchased it for, and wore it for,” Holden’s father continued.
“It’s been a whirlwind of comments coming even from other tribes, tribal members. Some think it’s okay, some think it’s not okay. It’s a nine-year-old boy supporting his team,” he added.