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NFL Owner Sparks Outrage By Calling People With Dwarfism 'Midgets'

Max Sherry

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| Last updated 

NFL Owner Sparks Outrage By Calling People With Dwarfism 'Midgets'

Jerry Jones has upset a lot of people by using an offensive term when referring to someone with dwarfism.

During the opening day of the Dallas Cowboys' training camp, the team's owner was paying tribute to his former employee Larry Lacewell who had passed away earlier this year.

But Jones has landed himself in hot water by using the m-word during his address.

“Stephen [Jones] and I went over to Jonesboro and a lot of our staff, certainly our scouts, and wanted to give a big memorial to Lace,” Jones said.

“Lace held court out here. I’m going to get me somebody, a m****t, to stand up there with me and dress him up like Lace and think Lace is still out here helping at practice with us.

“You know, we all need our props. But here it is to Lace – really, and I’m serious about that.”

When using the term, 79-year-old Jones reportedly used a hand gesture to signal that he was referring to someone smaller in stature.

It's understood Jones’ comments prompted some surprised giggles from those attending the press conference.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

When he made the remarks, fuming fans flocked straight to social media to pull him up on it.

The outrage prompted an apology from the NFL team owner.

“Earlier today I made a reference which I understand may have been viewed as offensive,” Jones said.

“I apologise.”

American comedian Brad Williams, who has dwarfism, was quick to issue a hilarious response of his own when he heard what Jones had said.

"When someone offends you, it’s important to have empathy and find common ground," Williams tweeted.

"Jerry and I have a lot in common. For instance, we both haven’t won a Super Bowl in over 25 years."

The term is deemed highly derogatory by those with dwarfism.

Little People of America - which is a dwarfism foundation - have spoken out against the use of the word, saying it “was never coined as the official term to identify people with dwarfism but was created as a label used to refer to people of short stature who were on public display for curiosity and sport.”

The organisations official website states: “Today, the [m-word] is considered a derogatory slur. The dwarfism community has voiced that they prefer to be referred to as dwarfs, little people, people of short stature or having dwarfism, or simply, and most preferably, by their given name.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia, NFL, American Football

Max Sherry
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