Jerry Jones is finally apologizing for the word he used when speaking at the Dallas Cowboys press conference.
“Earlier today I made a reference which I understand may have been viewed as offensive. I apologize,” he said in a statement.
Jones was trying to pay tribute to former Cowboys director of scouting Larry Lacewell when he used the m-word. Little People of America considers that word a derogatory slur “created as a label used to refer to people of short stature who were on public display for curiosity and sport.”
Jones used the slur to say he wanted someone of shorter stature “to stand him up there with me and dress him up like Lace. To think Lace is still out here helping look at practice with us. You know, we all need our props.”
While saying that, he gestured with his hand the height of a shorter person that Merriam-Webster labels as “sometimes offensive” for describing a very small or unusually small person.
“Whether the intention of the user of the word is used to bully and to demean, or just as a synonym for small, our collective experience shows us that language has the power to cause permanent damage to one’s self-esteem and identity,” Little People of America’s website says. “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.”