Deadspin under fire after second embarrassing race mistake in as many months: 'Glaring example of laziness'

Media top headlines January 27

In media news today, CNN’s Jim Acosta compares Virginia to a ‘Soviet-style police state’ under Glenn Youngkin, Deadspin updates a Mike McDaniel hit piece after knocking the biracial 49ers coach as ‘another young, white guy,’ and Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court retirement is touted as a political opportunity for Biden

For a site that covers racial issues as often as Deadspin, it’s struggled lately to simply identify people correctly.

The left-wing sports blog suffered its second embarrassing racial mistake in as many months Wednesday after posting a hit piece on a “white” NFL coach it didn’t realize was biracial.

San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel was targeted by Deadspin staffer “Sean Beckwith,” whose premise was McDaniel was overhyped as a possible head coach in the league due to being a “trendy, young, white guy.”

“Be careful what you tweet for, people of the online realm,” Beckwith wrote. “Mike McDaniel, the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator who has gone viral for his ‘adorable’ news conferences featuring references to Mike Jones and engaging answers, is ticking off all the boxes to be the next trendy, young, white guy who takes a head coaching position before one of the many deserving Black candidates.”

CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 31: Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel of the San Francisco 49ers on the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 31, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The 49eres defeated the Bears 33-22. 
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

McDaniel, whose 49ers will play in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, was repeatedly identified as “white” in the Jan. 22 piece – one part says, “Is he white? Yes.” – before Deadspin posted a correction on Wednesday.

“We learned after the publication of this article that 49ers OC Mike McDaniel, whom we describe as a “white guy,” is in fact biracial. The article’s original text remains below. We regret the error,” it wrote.

McDaniel’s father is Black and he gave an NBC Sports interview last year where he delved into his family background.

Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers fires up the team on the field before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Inglewood, California. The 49ers defeated the Rams 27-24.
(Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Deadspin was pilloried for the mistake and the premise of the post. One writer commented on what he viewed as a decline in quality at Deadspin, which once was known for breaking major sports news like the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax. In recent years it has dealt with upheaval and has struggled to recover since a mass staff resignation.

“This is a glaring example of laziness, of course, but even ignoring this one post the content at new Deadspin is a clear, clear step down from the prior version, which wasn’t perfect but was certainly vital,” Awful Announcing contributor Jay Rigdon wrote about the McDaniel error. “A lot of the Zombie Deadspin content seems to be chasing some mythical audience that wants pieces clumsily discussing the intersection of sports and societal change, while also not caring care about quality of writing or whether the posts themselves unwittingly undermine the causes they’re purportedly championing.”

The mistake followed a tweet last month referring to ESPN’s Sage Steele as the “Black Candace Owens,” suggesting the right-wing commentator was White or some other race. 

The tweet was later deleted and replaced with another tweet that read, “IDIOT OF THE YEAR #6: Sage Steele, the Candace Owens of ESPN,” an apparent reference to Steele, who identifies as biracial, being referred to as “the Candace Owens of ESPN” during an October appearance on former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler’s podcast.

A screenshot of a now deleted tweet from Deadspin referring to ESPN sports anchor Sage Steele as "the Black Candace Owens," inferring that Candace Owens, a Black conservative commentator, is a White person.

OutKick’s Bobby Burack said Deadspin could give itself that title for 2022 already after its latest error.

“While it’s only January, it’s hard to imagine anyone in sports topping what’s left of Deadspin in the idiocy category,” Burack wrote.

Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. Fox News and OutKick share common ownership.

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