Scottsdale Shop Owner Mocks Native Americans During ESPN SB Promo Shoot
A local Arizona shop owner interrupted an ESPN shoot this week to mock Native American performers — while yelling, “MAGA country” — and the whole racist tirade is on video.
Cody Blackbird — who’s of Cherokee/Dakota descent, and was one of the Native American performers hired by ESPN for the Super Bowl promo — tells TMZ a dude named Gilbert Ortega started taunting the dancers from the front of his jewelry shop Tuesday in downtown Scottsdale.
We’re told Ortega was mimicking their movements and chants — in a demeaning way — and that prompted some in the group to come over and confront him while filming.
TMZ obtained some footage of the confrontation, and it shows Ortega was out there to provoke and posture … calling the Native Americans “f**king Indians,” invoking MAGA and telling them to go back to Gallup, NM, which is home to a well-known reservation.
Ortega even came out for a tense face-to-face with the group at one point … on a dare to say what he was saying to their faces. So, yeah … he was looking for trouble and trying to get under the performers’ skin. Unfortunately, he succeeded.
Luckily, there was no violence … Ortega was whisked away by a friend, and the whole thing fizzled out after he went back into his establishment — a business, BTW, that ironically sells Native American items.
Some members of the Native American group were upset enough to contact cops to complain. The Scottsdale Police Dept. tells us they’re investigating the incident as “possible disorderly conduct” … and, as of now, they don’t see anything that rises to the level of a hate crime. That’s subject to change based on the investigation.