The parents of a young Kansas City Chiefs fan who was unfairly targeted by a reporter at Deadspin over his game day costume are threatening to sue the liberal media outlet after it failed to retract its article claiming the boy was wearing blackface.
Holden Armenta, 9, was photographed at the Sunday, November 26th Chiefs game with black-and-red face paint and a Native American headdress costume. However, in a piece titled, “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress,” reporter Carron J. Phillips used a photograph of Holden from only his right side which suggested his entire face was painted black.
“It takes a lot to disrespect two groups of people at once,” Phillips wrote in her piece, which has since been flagged on X by community members for being “purposely deceiving.”
After more than a week of blowback, including the revelation that Holden and his family are Native American descendants, the young boy’s parents Shannon and Raul are floating the possibility of a lawsuit against Deadspin, according to the New York Post.
In a letter sent by their attorneys, the couple demanded a retraction of the piece and the issuance of a prominent apology by the outlet.
“These articles, posts on X and photos about Holden and his parents must be retracted immediately,” the letter reads. “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.”
During an appearance on Fox News last week, Holden and his father expressed their wish that no one take offense to Holden’s costume, which Raul said was not meant to ridicule any Native American tribe. Asked by Jesse Watters how he’s holding up, Holden said the media spotlight has been a bit “scary.”
“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.
Raul added that perhaps it’s a bit to late for a simple apology, suggesting a declaration of monetary damage may be forthcoming.
“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 never 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,” said Raul.
“It’s been a whirlwind of comments coming even from other tribes, tribal members. Some think it’s okay, some thing it’s not okay. It’s a nine-year-old boy supporting his team,” he added.