BOSTON (CBS) — During the week of the Super Bowl, the media attention surrounding the players and teams involved in the game increases twentyfold. The lights are shining, the cameras are on, and the microphones are hot, so any and every comment uttered by the players will no doubt get noticed.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco learned that much during his first day in New Orleans.
Flacco was asked by Mike Klis of The Denver Post for his thoughts on the Super Bowl being played in cold weather, like it is scheduled next year in New York.
“Yeah,” Flacco said. “I think it’s retarded.”
Use of the word “retarded” in a public setting almost always brings negative attention upon the speaker, and Flacco seemed to immediately realize that.
“I probably shouldn’t say that,” Flacco said, changing his description to “stupid” before explaining why playing the Super Bowl in cold weather is a bad idea.
The Special Olympics and Best Buddies operate a program called “Spread the Word to End the Word,” which, in addition to promoting the acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seeks to end the use of the “r-word.”
“Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities,” the organization’s website says. “However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the word ‘retard(ed).’ It is time to address the minority slur ‘retard(ed)’ and raise the consciousness of society to its hurtful effects.”