New Mexico Hobbs News-Sun sports reporter Jason Farmer apologized last week for a tweet using the word “scalps.”
The tweet read, “#EaglesHoops Scalps #Chieftians, 95 to 39,” according to New Mexico news outlet KRQE. KRQE noted that Farmer initially defended the tweet and that the Hobbs News-Sun is reviewing the matter. The Hobbs News-Sun is based in Hobbs, New Mexico.
According to the Associated Press, Farmer’s tweet was criticized by Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez and vice president Myron Lizer. The AP explained:
“The world ‘scalp’ has a racist history as white settlers regularly cut off pieces of Native Americans’ heads after killing them. The body parts were later publicly displayed as trophies and as scare tactics to other tribes to subject themselves to white supremacy.”
Farmer tweeted an apology Dec. 27, which said: “Yesterday I wrote a tweet that I have now learned to be very inappropriate & completely insensitive to the Native America community. I am so sorry for my actions. The offensive tweet was not within the standards of journalism or even common decency. I apologize to the teams, residents & community of Shiprock as well as NM Preps & NMAA for their inclusion.”
iMediaEthics has tweeted Farmer and written to the Hobbs News-Sun. The News-Sun’s editor Todd Bailey told iMediaEthics, “Due to the fact this is a personnel matter, we are not able to comment any further than what has already been posted.”