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Sports Journalist Admits to Falling for Smear of Young NFL Fan, Apologizes: 'I Am an Idiot'

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Well, at least one sports journalist was willing to admit the bloody obvious in the misleading online bashing of a young Kansas City Chiefs fan, Holden Armenta.

“I am an idiot,” he said.

Not that it helped much. Holden might be the new Nicholas Sandmann, tarred and feathered for an obvious lie that wouldn’t hold up under the slightest fact-checking scrutiny.

And Deadspin, the outlet that wrote the most scathing piece on the youngster on Monday, still had its smear up and totally unchanged on Thursday morning.

Just in case you missed it, Holden went viral after a misleading picture of him in what appeared to be blackface, wearing a Native American headdress, was shared on social media.

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As a community note on X pointed out, however, the other half of the boy’s face was painted red — something people should have noticed, considering CBS reportedly showed him several times during the Chiefs-Raiders contest on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Not only that, the boy’s mother, Shannon Armenta, said on Facebook that her son is part Native American, taking away that angle.

That had Barstool Sports’ Jack McGuire apologizing for his part in smearing Armenta, saying, “I messed up.”

“Behind me is a Chiefs fan,” he said in a video posted to TikTok on Wednesday.

“On Sunday, I took this photo” — the controversial one in question — “and said that he was wearing blackface and a headdress,” McGuire said.

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“What I did not do is let more things come out about that photo,” the mea culpa continued, with McGuire noting “the other side of his face was red” and “as for the headdress, it has come out that he is Native American.”

“His grandfather is part of the Chumash tribe … I have since taken down this TikTok,” he said.

“And the apology should be as loud as the accusation,” McGuire continued. “So here is my TikTok saying I am sorry and also I am an idiot.”

@jackmacbarstoolI shouldve been better.♬ original sound – Jack Mac

Some gave McGuire credit — while noting that the writer who wrote the most poisoned-pen piece at Deadspin still wasn’t apologizing.

Carron J. Phillips was the author of the Monday morning piece titled “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress.”

“They’re doubling up on the racism. Are you going to say anything, Roger Goodell?” the subheadline read, before going into a fantastically misleading lede: “It takes a lot to disrespect two groups of people at once. But on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, a Kansas City Chiefs fan found a way to hate Black people and the Native Americans at the same time.”

Hoo boy. But, of course, this was all part of The Deeper Narrative on Race™.

Should Deadspin retract its story about this fan?

“The answers to all of those questions lead back to the NFL. While it isn’t the league’s responsibility to stop racism and hate from being taught in the home, they are a league that has relentlessly participated in prejudice” Phillips wrote.

“There’s no place for a franchise to be called the ‘Chiefs’ in a league that’s already eradicated ‘Redskins.’”

It’s impressive just how many ways Phillips has managed to be wrong.

While the team does employ the arrowhead imagery, the franchise, somewhat strangely, is actually named after a politician: As ABC News noted, the name of the franchise came from H. Roe “Chief” Bartle, the popular Kansas City mayor of the 1960s who helped broker the team’s move to the city after the then-Dallas Texans of the competing AFL found they couldn’t compete with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

But those are facts — and when facts don’t align with the narrative, they can be safely discarded.

Sure, at least we have one writer who believes he’s “an idiot” for calling out this fan. Not only do the rest of the media not think this makes them look like idiots, they don’t care. The ends justify the means — and Holden Armenta, flawed means to an end he may be to anyone who looks closely at the story, is still a means.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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