The recent update to Deadspin’s article, which initially accused a young Chiefs fan of wearing blackface at an NFL event, appears more as a reluctant response to pressure rather than an authentic commitment to rectify their journalistic mistake.
The outlet added an editor’s note to Carron J. Phillips’ article criticizing the NFL for allowing a young fan to attend a game wearing a Native American headdress and what was believed to be black face paint. However, the editor’s note is just an attempt to backtrack from their misstep by altering the focus of the story to the NFL’s history on race, diverting attention from their baseless accusations against the young fan.
Deadspin failed in their intended objective to address the NFL’s history regarding race issues, instead drawing unwarranted attention to the fan in question. While the outlet claims their focus was on the league’s inconsistent policies, the article misleadingly targeted the child, completely deviating from their purported aim.
The updated editor’s note expressed regret for the implication that they were attacking the young fan, yet the initial article’s tone was inflammatory, containing unsubstantiated allegations and a deceptively edited photo. The outlet even removed the prejudicial opening line that falsely accused the fan of harboring hatred toward specific communities, a baseless and damaging assertion.
The family of the young fan, Shannon and Raul Armenta, took a decisive stance against Deadspin and Phillips by enlisting legal representation to demand a retraction. Their strong legal response highlights the seriousness of the outlet’s defamatory actions, underscoring the necessity for a public retraction and apology commensurate with the gravity of the damage caused.
Despite the family’s attempts to resolve the issue amicably, Deadspin and Phillips persistently stood by their unfounded claims, only making changes when faced with the looming threat of legal action. It’s evident that Deadspin’s acknowledgment of their mistake emerged not from a genuine sense of accountability but rather from external pressure, prompting the removal of identifying information about the fan and alterations to the article.
The outlet’s deliberate omission of crucial information, especially the availability of a full photo showing the child wearing red and black face paint, further undermines the integrity of their reporting. Deadspin’s actions illustrate a grave failure in ethical journalism and a reluctance to rectify the damage caused to the young fan and his family without significant external pressure.