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Jerry Jones apologized on Tuesday after using a derogatory term for little people during a Dallas Cowboys news conference.
“Earlier today I made a reference which I understand may have been viewed as offensive," a statement from Jones reads. "I apologize.”
The Cowboys owner used the term while speaking about late Cowboys director of scouting Larry Lacewell. He did so as he paid tribute to former players and staff members who recently died while addressing media at the start of training camp. Lacewell worked for the Cowboys from 1991-2004, a span that included three Cowboys Super Bowl victories. He died in May at 85 years old.
"A lot of our staff, certainly our scouts — Jonesboro, Arkansas when they gave a big memorial to Lace,” Jones said. “Lace held court out here. I’m gonna get me somebody — a m***** — to stand up there with me and dress him up like Lace and think Lace is still out here helping us.
“You know, we all need our props and the memory that goes with it. But here is to Lace. Really, and I’m serious about that.”
Advocacy group Little People of America issued a statement in 2015 describing the word as a "derogatory slur" and called for the end of its use in "everyday nomenclature."
"The word “m*****” is used as a derogatory slur to refer to people of short stature," the statement reads. "Whether or not the intention of using the word is to bully and to demean, or just as a synonym for small, the term has been deemed a slur by those within the community and should be eliminated accordingly.
"In a recent organizational statement, LPA put forward a call to action to abolish the word from the everyday nomenclature and to replace it with synonymous designations when necessary."