Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is in the middle of training camp as his Cowboys prepare to probably disappoint their championship-hungry fan base for the 26th consecutive season.
This week he’s come under fire for his stance on Hall of Fame Super Bowl-winning head coach Jimmy Johnson’s delayed “Ring of Honor” induction.
But that’s not the only thing the 79-year-old business tycoon has recently come under fire for. Last week, the Little People of America, the world’s oldest and largest dwarfism support community, took Jones to task for comments he made about former scouting director Larry Lacewell, who passed in May.
Lace, as he was affectionately known, was short in stature but big in his efforts to make the Cowboys a winner.
As the Cowboys opened training camp Jones talked about Lace and others who’d unfortunately passed on since the season ended in January. But he also used the M-word (midget) to describe his good friend, and that’s a no-no to little people and dwarfs of the world.
“I’m going to get me somebody, a (m-word), to stand up there with me and dress him up like Lace and think Lace is still out here helping at practice with us.”
Immediately, there was backlash from the Little People of America.
LPA Demands Apology From Jones
The organization feels the word midget is disrespectful and ignorant. And using it by mistake or to make a joke isn’t an excuse. They expressed that to the longtime Cowboys owner.
“The (m-word) is a term that has widely been known to be derogatory for years and should be common knowledge to anyone in the public arena, such as Jerry Jones. Ignorance at this point is simply not an excuse.
“Any use of this disparaging slur along with suggestions or insinuations that our stature exists for amusement is deplorable and inexcusable. Those who use the term (m-word) or any terminology that further stigmatizes people born with dwarfism are asked to eradicate this word.
“Little People of America is asking Jerry Jones to issue an apology and vow to use appropriate terminology rooted in respect and dignity going forward.”
Jones realizing he’d made a huge mistake quickly apologized, but the damage had already been done.
— TICKER NEWS (@tickerNEWSco) July 28, 2022
Jones Isn’t First NFL Guy To Use Derogatory “Midget” Term
While Jones, has come under fire for his recent insensitive comments, he’s not the first NFL coach or owner to use the word in an interview. In a 2014 interview with 1530 AM, then-Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis called Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who stands 6–feet-tall, a midget, when comparing Manziel and quarterback Brian Hoyer.
Many people of short stature consider "midget" a slur. Marvin Lewis shouldn't say it. Neither should the rest of us. http://t.co/fQzK5Trnj2
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 9, 2014
“You’ll get a little more movement if Manziel’s the quarterback, the thing that they did against Buffalo. But other than that, no, that doesn’t impact you at all. You gotta defend the offense. You don’t defend the player. Particularly a midget.”
Lewis also apologized, but again after being called out by the LPA. The silver lining in this is don’t make fun of dwarfism in general or to crack your locker-room-type jokes.