The media is already going out of business. And it just discovered that racism smears got very expensive.
An Oklahoma jury awarded a man $25 million on Monday after finding the state’s largest newspaper defamed him when they mistakenly identified him as the announcer who made racist comments during a 2021 broadcast of a girls basketball game…
The incident occurred in 2021 before the Norman-Midwest City girls high school basketball game when an announcer for a livestream cursed and called one team by a racial epithet as the players kneeled during the national anthem…
Sapulpa, one of two announcers, was initially identified by the newspaper as the person who made the racist comment.
Sapulpa’s lawyers said that he faced threats after the incident.
“Sapulpa, once a respected teacher and coach, faced a barrage of threats, hate calls, and messages after the story was published and picked up by other media outlets, leading to his virtual termination from his position,” lawyer Cassie Barkett said in a statement. “The impact extended to Sapulpa’s personal life, forcing him to delete all social media accounts as his contact information went viral, resulting in further harassment.”
Gannett promises to appeal and considering that the company has already been making massive cuts, a $25 million verdict is the last thing that it can afford. The legal battle will go on. And it’s very much a matter of the jury.
A Manhattan jury threw out Sarah Palin’s case against the New York Times despite the reckless smears while a Florida jury destroyed Gawker. And speaking of Gawker, one of its surviving spawn just got hit with a lawsuit.
The family of the young Kansas City Chiefs fan accused of blackface by a Deadspin reporter has filed a lawsuit against the sports outlet.
During the Chiefs’ game against the Las Vegas Raiders back in November, Holden Armenta, 9, was captured by CBS Sports cameras wearing team colors across his entire face as well as a Native American headdress.
However, after painting his face black and red, cameras initially only caught the black half of Armenta’s face, leading to accusations of blackface from Deadspin’s Carron J. Phillips.
Phillips later wrote in a story, which was titled ‘the NFL needs to speak out against the Kansas City Chiefs fan in Black face, Native headdress’, that Armenta had ‘found a way to hate Black people and the Native Americans at the same time’ with his face paint at the game.
Following the article, fans were quick to point out that Armenta actually had the other half of his face painted red too and was merely wearing Kansas City’s colors, before the youngster’s family revealed they are also Native Americans themselves.
Considering how Gawker got destroyed by the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, Deadspin could have learned a modicum of care. And the decision to go after a little kid was deranged and cruel even by Gawker standards.
But the media is starting to wake up to the price of racism smears.