This is a delicious story about just desserts. The Kansas City Chiefs* honor Native American traditions and have so far avoided the name change handed to the Washington Commanders. Their signature move from the stands is a tomahawk “chop” and their fans embrace the whole native culture. Few people more than this lad, Holden Armenta. In a tribal headdress he has painted his face half red and half black in the team’s colors.
Cue the online spoilsport and self-appointed culture police, Deadspin aka African American sports “journalist” Carron J. Phillips, searching for racism underneath every rock. Whining as only people of self-appointed privilege can, he calls for the NFL to censor this child for racism.
The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress https://t.co/9eGBsA8nca— Deadspin (@Deadspin) November 27, 2023
*Incidentally, it seems the team is named for a local dignitary, Harold Roe Bartle who was the mayor of Kansas City. He was nicknamed The Chief.
The fans unite
Things quickly turned out bad for him. First, X’s new “Community Notes” Feature flamed him for only showing one side of the kids face and deliberately provoking outrage where none should have existed.
Then the fans declared they’d support the keen kid with a massive show of red and black.
🚨JUST IN: Chiefs Fans Are Planning To All Wear Black and Red Face Paint To The Next Game in A MASSIVE Show of Support For This Boy Who The Media Called Racist ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/85kNdBgeGE— Matt Wallace (@MattWallace888) November 29, 2023
Then Mom spoke up
Turns out that Holden’s grandfather, Raul Armenta, is a Business Committee Member of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
JUST IN: The young boy who was labeled as wearing ‘blackface’ by Deadspin is Holden Armenta.— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 29, 2023
His mother, Shannon Armenta confirmed that her son was the one at the middle of the controversy on her Facebook page.
It gets even better: Chiefs players saw Holden during the game and… pic.twitter.com/jdIDhcul3Z
The federal government has officially recognized the Santa Ynez Reservation in Santa Barbara County since December 1901. It’s the only federally recognized Chumash tribe in the United States and has a tribal constitution.
In true victim fashion, Phillips, who amazingly claims to be a Pulitzer Prize nominee, received a ton of hate. His X account reveals he has deleted any tweet related to that Deadspin article and any mention of Holden Armenta. Presumably, because he’s scared of lawyers.