The 9-year-old Kansas City Chiefs fan who was criticized as racist for wearing a headdress and black-and-red face paint during a road game last weekend has ties to a Native American tribe.
The grandfather of Holden Armenta of California is on the board of the Chumash Tribe board in Santa Ynez, California, according to a Facebook post from fan group Real Kansas City Chiefs. The Chumash Tribe website shows a Raul Armenta on its board as a business committee member.
During the broadcast of the Chiefs' game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, CBS cameras showed Holden Armenta wearing a Chiefs jersey and a Native American headdress, with black-and-red face paint, including a shot of him doing the "tomahawk chop."
But Deadspin showed a photo of only one side of Armenta's face with black paint, and senior writer Carron J. Phillips ripped into the young man, accusing him of "doubling up on racism," by wearing black face paint and a Native American headdress.
"This is what happens when you ban books, stand against Critical Race Theory, and try to erase centuries of hate," Phillips wrote. "You give future generations the ammunition they need to evolve and recreate racism better than before."
But Phillips and Deadspin were heavily criticized on social media for showing a photo of only one side of the boy's face. The article was tagged with a community note on X that branded it "purposely deceiving."
But Phillips would not relent to the online criticism, striking back at his critics in a now-deleted X post.
"For the idiots in my mentions who are treating this as some harmless act because the other side of his face was painted red, I could make the argument that it makes it even worse," Phillips wrote, according to the Post Millennial.
Holden's mother, Sharon Armenta, responded to Phillips and Deadspin showing only one side of her son's face on Facebook.
"This has nothing to do with the NFL," Armenta posted Monday morning. "Also, CBS showed him multiple times, and this is the photo people chose to blast to create division. He is Native American – just stop already."'
In another post Sunday night, Sharon Armenta wrote: "Everyone asked to take a photo with him. He's Native American – people are ridiculous."
Newsmax reached out to Phillips for comment.
Michael Katz ✉
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
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