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With one comment, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has showed us how to not be a winner. In response to a recent question from a Denver Post columnist about whether cold-weather cities should host the Super Bowl, Flacco used the r-word: “Yeah, I think it’s retarded. I guess I shouldn’t say that [word]. I think it’s stupid.”
As swiftly as he had made his remark, Flacco said he regretted it. But the damage has been done. Maryland resident John Boit, whose sister has Down Syndrome and who had worn a Flacco jersey till now, says the use of the "r-word" "amounts to hate speech."
A"slip" such as Flacco made may have been unintentional, but shows how the "r-word" has become entwined in people's vocabulary even when they think they're in the know about individuals with disabilities.
Flacco may have his reasons for being wary of the cold but one can only wish that he displayed such sensitivity to individuals with disabilities.