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Deadspin Lays Off Every Staffer After Accusing 9-Year-Old Of Racism, Getting Hit With Lawsuit

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ByNicole Silverio (Daily Caller)

Deadspin, a popular sports website, laid off every staffer after being sold to a new startup firm just months after one writer accused a child of racism.

Deadspin staffers received an email informing them that G/O Media, who owned Deadspin until Monday, sold the sports website to the newly formed European startup firm Lineup Publishing “after careful consideration,” according to screenshots of the email. Lineup Publishing reportedly decided to get rid of Deadspin’s existing staff, leading the company to part ways with all of its current staff.

“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,” the email reads. “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.”


Deadspin senior writer Julie DiCaro said staffers received a “half an hour’s notice” about the sale and have already been locked out of company laptops and Slack, according to a screenshot posted by Front Office Sports.

The sale comes just four months after senior writer Carron Phillips allegedly attempted to ruin the life of nine-year-old Holden Armenta, baselessly accusing him of racism for wearing a headdress and black and red face paint to cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs. Phillips used pictures that only showed the side of the boy’s face covered in black face paint in his November article, accusing the child of wearing blackface and of being racist against Native Americans.

Armenta’s family later revealed that their son is Native American. His grandfather, Raul Armenta, is a business committee member at the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, according to a short bio of the elder Armenta.

The article, initially titled “The NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress,” said the child found a way “to hate Black people and the Native American at the same time.” The outlet later updated the story to remove all of the photographs and any other “identifying information” about Armenta and assured readers it was not attacking the fan.

“We regret any suggestion that we were attacking the fan. 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,” the editor’s note reads.

Armenta’s parents sued Deadspin and G/O Media in early February after the outlet failed to retract the story or apologize for “maliciously and wantonly” attacking their son. The suit describes how their son suffered “a devastating loss” of his “innocence of youth” and an “encumbered love” of his favorite sports team as a result of Phillip’s article.

“Sadly, H.A. will never know a life in which his face and name are not inextricably linked to false accusations of racist conduct,” the lawsuit said. “When you Google H.A.’s name, the first result states that he has ‘been accused of racism by a reporter’ for Deadspin. The second alleges that the ‘article alleged that [the Armenta’s] son, [H.A.], exhibited racist behavior[.]’ The third describes what happened to H.A. as a ‘viral hit piece.’”

The suit said Phillips wrote the article “viciously race-baiting” Armenta simply to “generate clicks.”

Phillips has a long record of making baseless racism allegations against sports leagues. In one piece, he accused fans of the National Basketball League (NFL) of “white supremacy” for cheering on black players competing in the G7 following the race-related mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. He also accused Michael Lewis, the author of “The Blind Side,” of having a “slave owner’s mentality” for writing about a white family who adopted former NFL player Michael Oher.

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