A young Kansas City Chiefs fan reacted on Wednesday to allegations by a Deadspin writer who claimed the boy wore “blackface” when he painted half his face red and the other black for last Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
During 9-year-old Holden Armenta’s appearance on “Jesse Watters Prime Time,” the boy and his father, Bubba Armenta, spoke to the Fox News host about being in the spotlight following the racism allegations by sports writer Carron Phillips.
“It’s been a lot. It’s been a pretty crazy couple of days,” Bubba said. “I was mad, upset for him. I’m mad that he’s upset. He’s pretty devastated. I mean, he’s seen the videos and everything posted.”
“It was his dream to get on the jumbotron,” he added. “And I’ve had family and friends call and [say], ‘Oh, we saw you on Sunday night football.’ So, he’s excited. But then everything else came up.”
EXCLUSIVE: The 9-year-old Chiefs fan, who was falsely smeared as a racist for supporting his team, speaks out on Primetime.
Holden Armenta says this whole thing has been scary and overwhelming. His father, Bubba, says it’s too late for an apology- the damage is already done. pic.twitter.com/8T4WsMsvm6
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) November 30, 2023
Watters then asked Holden how he was holding up.
“It’s OK because a lot of kids at school are getting excited, but it’s starting to get me a little nervous because if they go a little bit overboard, it’s a little scary,” Holden said.
The drama began after Phillips accused Holden of finding “a way to hate Black people and the Native Americans at the same time” when the boy wore an American Indian headdress and painted half his face red and the other half black to show his support for the Chiefs.
In the Deadspin article, Phillips called out the child’s “disrespect” and only focused on one side of his face. When the writer was criticized online, he just doubled down on his accusations.
The Community Notes feature on X added a disclaimer saying the writer “failed to provide full context” that the boy’s face paint was in reference to the football team.
Holden’s mom later took to Facebook and defended her son, calling out the sports blog.
“This has nothing to do with the NFL,” Shannon Armenta wrote in her post. “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.”
Holden is from an American Indian family, and his grandfather is on the board of the Chumash tribe in Santa Ynez, California, according to The Post Millennial.