Deadspin, a popular sports blog, refused to say whether the outlet will change its misleading assertion that an underaged Kansas City Chiefs fan was in blackface for painting one side of his face black and wearing the team’s iconic headdress.
Deadspin senior writer Carron Phillips wrote a piece Monday titled, “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress,” accusing a child of being racist toward black and Native American people for wearing the headdress and face paint during a Sunday afternoon game in Las Vegas.
The young boy’s headdress resembled the logo in the 1960s and early ’70s depicting a Native American wearing a large headdress and carrying a hatchet. He painted both sides of his face in the team colors, red and black, though Phillips only included a photo angled to show the side with black paint on the child and refused to mention the red paint.
Phillips and Jim Rich, Deadspin’s editor-in-chief, did not respond to the Daily Caller on whether the outlet would update the piece with a full photo of the child to emphasize that the fan was not in black face.
— Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) November 28, 2023
Phillips also targeted the Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League (NFL) for allowing their fans to display so-called “racism and hate” since they did not change the team name or end their traditional tomahawk chop, a practice where the team players wear the arrowhead logo on their helmet and use a large drum to kick off their games.
“The answers to all of those questions lead back to the NFL,” Phillips wrote. “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. If the NFL had outlawed the chop at Chiefs games and been more aggressive in changing the team’s name, then we wouldn’t be here.”
“There’s no place for a franchise to be called the ‘Chiefs’ in a league that’s already eradicated ‘Redskins,’” he added.
He also complained that the team has not released a statement on the fan’s appearance. He never once mentioned the team’s collaboration with local Native American tribes or the history of the team name anywhere in his piece. (RELATED: Kansas City Chiefs Fans Get In A Massive Brawl In Absurd Viral Video)
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.
— Carron J. Phillips (@carronJphillips) November 27, 2023
Twitter’s Community Notes pointed to the lack of context on the boy’s face paint and headdress. Phillips has received major backlash on the social media site, including by Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who called him “an unapologetic racist.”
Carron Phillips is an unapologetic racist and a deceiver. Shame on him.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2023
The Kansas City Chiefs said they “relied heavily” on Native American culture “in a racially insensitive fashion” throughout history, and have since worked to eliminate that, according to the team’s website.
The NFL team began collaborating with local leaders of Native American tribes in 2014 to “gain a better understanding” of Native American cultures and discourage its fans from exhibiting certain cultural stereotypes, according to a statement from the team in 2020. After the collaboration, the team banned headdresses from the home stadium and any face paint “that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions.”
The Chiefs had also been “in a thorough review process” of the Arrowhead Chop and planned to modify the Drum Deck to accurately represent the drum’s “spiritual significance” in Native American cultures, the statement said. The team’s name is an homage to former Kansas City Mayor H. Roe Bartle, who earned the nickname “Chief” during his time in office in the early 1960s, according to a statement released by the Chiefs.
Phillips has accused white sports fans of racism on several occasions in the past. The day following the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, he accused white people of “white supremacy” for being “entertained by Black athletes” during Game 7. He tweeted in 2016 that the amount of white people in Flint, Michigan, is “concerning,” according to Twitter screenshots shared by user EndWokeness.