Holden Armenta, the nine-year-old boy at the center of a controversy in which media outlet Deadspin sparked an online uproar by falsely accusing him of wearing “blackface” when he was really just wearing red and black facepaint for the Chiefs, his favorite team, was back in the spotlight on Sunday night. it was then that he appeared for Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, with his red, yellow, and white face paint on and a headdress on his head.
As background, Holden’s parents recently sued Deadspin over the claims it made about Holden in its original article, which has since been edited with the photo of Holden removed and a note saying that it regrets any impression that it was attacking holding. The complaint argues that the article was deceptive in that the photo used for it only showed half of Holden’s face, the half with black paint, and that it maliciously attacked him.
In the complaint, Holden’s family argued, “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.”
Continuing, the complaint went on to add, “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.”
Then, describing the pain that Deadspin’s smears brought Holden and his family, the complaint alleged, “Death threats (“I’m going to kill [H.A.] with a wood chipper”) and insults (calling H.A. a “p-ssy,” a “mother f-cker,” and a “n-gg-r”). They have made Raul a pariah at work, forcing the family to consider moving out of state. And they have branded a nine-year-old child with false allegations that will live forever online. H.A. has already suffered significantly—his test scores and grades have dropped in school, and he has shown emotional damage from the onslaught of negative attention.”
In any case, Holden showed up at the Super Bowl. Conservative X personality Collin Rugg, tweeting about Holden’s appearance, said, “NEW: The young Chiefs fan who was slandered by the media for wearing “blackface” is at the Super Bowl and is wearing his headdress. This is the biggest middle finger of 2024 😂 The boy, Holden Armenta, predicted that the Chiefs would win 31-28.”
Rugg added, “Just last week, it was revealed that the boy’s family was taking legal action against Deadspin and reporter Carron Phillips. The complaint was filed against G/O Media Inc. & blasts Deadspin for “maliciously & wantonly” attacking Holden Armenta.”
Then, adding to that in a comment, Rugg said, “Huge shoutout to @LaNativePatriot @AnthonyWChavez
@ThePatriotsPray for sending Holden to the Super Bowl. Please give them all a follow 🙏 They raised $11,500 to send him to see his favorite team play!”
Watch the video of Holden showing up for the big game here:
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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