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Controversial blog that smeared 9-year-old Chiefs fan lays off entire staff

via Fox News
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Sports blog Deadspin has shut down entirely after being sold by its parent company G/O Media.

Deadspin came under fire in 2021 for accusing a 9-year-old Kansas City Chiefs fan of wearing “blackface” for having red and black face paint in a Native American-style headdress.

The child is of Native American heritage.

“I have some news to share regarding one of our sites in the G/O Media portfolio. Recently we were approached by the European firm Lineup Publishing expressing interest in purchasing Deadspin to add to their growing media holdings,” G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller said. “After careful consideration, the G/O Media board of directors has decided to accept their offer. I do want to make it clear that we were not actively shopping Deadspin.”

“Deadspin’s new owners have made the decision to not carry over any of the site’s existing staff and instead build a new team more in line with their editorial vision for the brand. While the new owners plan to be reverential to Deadspin’s unique voice, they plan to take a different content approach regarding the site’s overall sports coverage. This unfortunately means that we will be parting ways with those impacted staff members, who were notified earlier today. I would like to thank them for their hard work and efforts that helped make Deadspin stand out in the crowded sports media space,” the memo read.

Deadspin doubled down on its claims against backlash.

“The image of a Chiefs fan in Black face wearing a Native headdress during a road game leads to so many unanswered questions,” Deadspin reporter Carron J. Phillips wrote. “Why did the camera person give this fan the attention? Why did the producer allow that camera angle to be aired at all? Is that fan a kid/teenager or a young adult? Despite their age, who taught that person that what they were wearing was appropriate?”

“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. Y’all are the ones who hate [M]exican but wear sombreros on cinco [de Mayo],” he later said.

In 2022, the child’s family sued Deadspin for defamation, saying the site selectively used a photo only showing half his face.

Under new ownership, Deadspin’s entire staff was let go and the site will take a different editorial approach.

“On Nov. 27, Deadspin published an opinion piece criticizing the NFL for allowing a young fan to attend the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Nov. 26 wearing a traditional Native American headdress and, based upon the available photo, what appeared to be black face paint,” Deadspin later wrote. “Unfortunately the article drew attention to the fan, though our intended focus was on the NFL and its checkered history on race, an issue which our writer has covered extensively for Deadspin. Three years ago, the Chiefs banned fans from wearing headdresses in Arrowhead Stadium, as well as face painting that ‘appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions.’ The story’s intended focus was the NFL and its failure to extend those rules to the entire league.”

“We regret any suggestion that we were attacking the fan or his family. To that end, our story was updated on Dec. 7 to remove any photos, tweets, links, or otherwise identifying information about the fan. We have also revised the headline to better reflect the substance of the story,” Deadspin added.

The blog’s past controversies included inaccurately describing a biracial ESPN host and 49ers coach.

Its targeting of the young football fan drew widespread criticism over political correctness and attacks on a child.

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