Kansas City Chiefs fan sues Deadspin over blackface accusation

The left-wing sports commentary site Deadspin has been served a suit after one of its writers accused a young Kansas City Chiefs fan of appearing in blackface at a Chiefs–Raiders game. The writer used the image as grounds to attack the NFL and its fanbase, never mind that he knew better and intentionally used a deceptive image of the kid to make his case. 

Soon after the story was published, Deadspin was contacted by conservative sports site Outkick about issuing a retraction, but Deadspin opted for a Dan Campbellesque doubling down. That decision may end up being ruinously expensive.

Katherine Donlevy reports for the New York Post:

The family of the 9-year-old Kansas City Chiefs fan accused by Deadspin of wearing “blackface” filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the outlet — claiming it defamed and caused irreversible damage to the young football fan.

Holden Armenta’s parents, Shannon and Raul, alleged that Deadspin intentionally published a defamatory article, exposing “the family to a barrage of hate, including death threats.”

The lawsuit was filed following weeks of legal threats by the Armentas, who demanded that the sports news site and its senior writer Caron Phillips issue a retraction for his story headlined “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress.”

The article included a photo of the boy that was broadcasted on CBS Sports during the Nov. 26 game against the Las Vegas Raiders, showing him standing in profile and appearing to wear blackface and a traditional Native American headdress.

This is not Deadspin‘s first brush with a serious lawsuit, having been part of the Gawker Media group that suffered a $140 million judgment against it after invading Hulk Hogan’s privacy.

For someone in commentary, Deadspin‘s blackface accusation is a reminder to double-check something that looks too good to be true. Then, if the story is published and someone reaches out with a correction, one ought to cool off and get with an editor to review if all is on solid ground. After all, instant commentary thrives on “nutpicking” (a David French term), so writers will whiff from time to time. Error is understandable.

What may kill Deadspin isn’t that their writer was wrong; it’s that he was willfully, insolently wrong after knowing better. That young Chiefs fan may be able to purchase a percentage of the franchise after this is all said and done, and God bless him if so.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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