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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apologizes for usage of ‘offensive’ term

OXNARD, Calif. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued an apology statement Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier today I made a reference that i understand might have been seen as offensive, he said in a statement. I am sorry.

Jones was paying tribute to former Cowboys director of scouting Larry Lacewell when he used what Little Folks of America considers a derogatory slur created as a label used to make reference to folks of short stature who have been on public display for curiosity and sport, the 65-year-old organization said in a 2015 article titled LPA issues statement to abolish the m word.

Jones comment came amid otherwise serious remarks commemorating a lot more than 10 former Cowboys players, coaches, employees and partners who recently died. The Cowboys owner/general manager recalled planing a trip to Arkansas State in June for something celebrating Lacewells life.

Stephen and I went to Jonesboro and were part of lots of our staff, certainly our scouts, who went and gave a large memorial to Lace, Jones said. Lace held court out here.

Jones next used the slur to state he wanted someone of shorter stature to stand him up there with me and dress him up like Lace. To believe Lace continues to be out here helping look at practice around. You know, most of us need our props.

Jones gestured along with his hand the height of a shorter person with all the term that Merriam-Webster labels as sometimes offensive for describing an extremely small or unusually small person. Oxford Learners Dictionaries labels the word taboo, offensive before defining an offensive word for someone who is quite short due to the condition dwarfism. Dictionary.com describes it as a term of older use: disparaging and offensive.

If the intention of an individual of the term can be used to bully also to demean, or simply as a synonym for small, our collective experience shows us that language gets the capacity to cause permanent harm to ones self-esteem and identity, Little Folks of Americas website says. The dwarfism community has voiced they would rather be known as dwarfs, little people, folks of short stature or having dwarfism, or just, & most preferably, by their given name.

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks at a press conference on Tuesday.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks at a press conference on Tuesday.

Lacewell served because the Cowboys director of scouting from 1991-2004 and continued to go to the business for greater than a decade afterward. The Cowboys won three Super Bowls in his first five years. Ahead of employed in the NFL, Lacewell enjoyed a decorated college football coaching career, including stints as defensive coordinator for Oklahoma and Tennessee, along with Arkansas State head football coach and director of athletics. Arkansas State won back-to-back championships under his leadership, earning Lacewell induction in to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Lacewell died May 17 at 85 yrs . old. Jerry Jones and multiple Cowboys employees traveled to Jonesboro, Arkansas, for a celebration of his life at Arkansas State on June 17.

Tuesday, with lengthy remarks about his absence, Jones appeared intent to honor him again.

Here it really is to Lace, Jones concluded his tribute. Really. Im seriously interested in that.

Follow USA TODAY Sports Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.

This short article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jerry Jones apologizes for using ‘offensive’ term

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