The Cowboys owner apologized for using the reference that could have been “viewed as offensive.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apologized after making an offensive comment while sharing a tribute to honor the late Dallas scouting director, Larry Lacewell.
Jones was honoring Lacewell and more than 10 former Cowboys players, coaches, employees and partners who recently died as the franchise held its first full day of training camp with veteran players at Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, Calif., on Tuesday.
Lacewell, who died in May at the age of 85, was a Cowboys college and pro scout from 1991 to ‘04. Jones and several Dallas employees attended a service to commemorate Lacewell’s life at Arkansas State. Lacewell, despite being much shorter than six feet tall, was always a popular face on the field for Cowboys’ practices. When attempting to give a tribute to Lacewell, Jones used the “m-word”.
“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,” Jones said. “You know, we all need our props. But here it is to Lace―really, and I’m serious about that.”
Jones also used his hand to signal a reference to someone of shorter stature. While Jones said he was not intending to make an offensive comment, the Little People of America—the world’s largest dwarfism foundation—would consider Jones’s statement as a derogatory slur. In 2015, LPA pushed to abolish the word, saying in a statement that the “m-word created a label used to refer to people of short stature who were on public display for curiosity and sport.”
According to LPA, the people of the dwarfism community stated that they wanted “to be referred to as dwarfs, little people, people or short nature or having dwarfism,” per its 2015 statement.