The parents of a 9-year-old boy tarred for his Native American costume worn during a Kansas City Chiefs game last year are suing the liberal media outlet that publicly accused their son of donning blackface.
In a complaint filed against G/O Media Inc, which owns the outlet Deadspin where the story was first published, the family of young Holden Armenta made good on its previous promise to sue, arguing “enormous damage” was inflicted upon them by author Carron Phillips, who wrote that the boy found “a way to hate black people and Native Americans at the same time.” The Armenta family are Native American descendants.
Though Holden painted half of his face red and the other half black in the traditional colors of his favorite team, Deadspin ran his photo showing only the black side, leading readers to believe he had worn blackface, a historic makeup worn by non-Black actors that is widely viewed as racially insensitive.
“By selectively capturing from the CBS broadcast an image of H.A. showing only the one side of his face with black paint on it—an effort that took laser-focused precision to accomplish given how quickly the boy appeared on screen—Phillips and Deadspin deliberately omitted the half of H.A.’s face with red paint on it,” the complaint reads according to The Daily Caller.
The complaint goes on to add that Armenta and his father have regularly worn the red-black face paint and costume Native American headdress to honor the iconic Chiefs mascot of yesteryear.
“H.A. did not wear a costume headdress because he was ‘taught hate at home’—he wore it because he loves the Kansas City Chiefs’ football team and because he loves his Native American heritage,” the complaint reads.
Rather than search for other photos of Holden from that day, Deadspin and its editors chose to inflict a “race-drenched political agenda” to “generate clicks.”
A deeply-criticized editor’s note, added in December, claims the intended target of the story was NFL leadership which editors say has failed to address racism among its game day crowds.
“Deadspin did not retract the Article, and it did not apologize,” the complaint states. “Rather, it published a series of further ‘updates’ that not only failed to correct the record, but instead established that Deadspin fully understood the Article’s highly damaging and defamatory nature—while maliciously refusing to back down. And Deadspin’s lawyers threatened the Armenta family with counter-legal action should Raul and Shannon attempt to hold Phillips and Deadspin accountable for their false and defamatory Article.”
The infamy has taken a heavy toll on the Armenta family, attorneys add. Holden’s grades have “dropped” and he has become a “pariah” at school while his parents have considered moving the family out of state.
From The Daily Caller
Sadly, H.A. will never know a life in which his face and name are not inextricably linked to false accusations of racist conduct. When you Google H.A.’s name, the first result states that he has “been accused of racism by a reporter” for Deadspin. The second alleges that the ‘article alleged that [the Armenta’s] son, [H.A.], exhibited racist behavior[.]’ The third describes what happened to H.A. as a “viral hit piece” the suit reads.
Holden, however, has taken his own media interviews and put on a stiff upper lip in the face of his unwanted attention.
“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 told Jesse Watters on Fox News back in November.