G/O Media Sells Deadspin, Lets Go of All Employees Months After Writer Accused Kid of Blackface

2024-03-11 16:00:08

Sports website Deadspin’s bad year hit rock bottom after a rocky start.

G/O Media sold Deadspin to European firm Lineup Publishing. Its website says the company is located in Malta.

“Lineup Publishing is a newly formed digital media company described in their own words as ‘dedicated to creating, acquiring and managing high quality media brands across a variety of sectors,’” G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller wrote to employees.

Spanfeller told everyone that Lineup Publishing will not bring over any existing staff. It will “build a new team more in line with their editorial vision for the brand.”

Lineup Publishing will “take a different approach” to sports coverage.

G/O Media acquired Deadspin in 2019. Before that, it fell under the Gawker umbrella, which sold it to Univision after having to pay Hulk Hogan millions and going into bankruptcy.

G/O Media recently closed down Jezebel and Splinter News. It sold LifeHacker last year.

Deadspin started the year broiled in controversy after Carron J. Phillips accused 9-year-old Kansas City Chiefs fan Holden Armenta of wearing blackface despite other photos showing the kid painted his face red and black.

Phillips double-downed, triple-down, etc. It was awful:

“It takes a lot to disrespect two groups of people at once,” Phillips wrote in the article, which has since been tagged with a community note on X branding it “purposely deceiving.”

“This is what happens when you ban books, stand against Critical Race Theory, and try to erase centuries of hate,” he wrote. “You give future generations the ammunition they need to evolve and recreate racism better than before.”

“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,” he wrote in the post, according to the Post Millennial.

“Y’all are the ones who hate Mexicans but wear sombreros on Cinco [de Mayo].”

Deadspin even quietly made changes to the piece.

Raul and Shannon Armenta, Holden’s parents, filed a lawsuit against Deadspin in February:

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.”


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G/O Media Sells Deadspin, Lets Go of All Employees Months After Writer Accused Kid of Blackface


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