Flacco’s apology commendable, but more work is ahead


During a recent media interview, Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco used a painful word when describing his reaction to next year’s Super Bowl being in a cold weather location. He called it “retarded,” which sent a collective cringe across the country.

And cringe they should. Retarded is a discriminatory word and one he should not have used.

As soon as the word left his mouth, Flacco immediately realized he should not have said it and corrected himself.

He later issued a statement to the media apologizing for his use of the word.

Here is the statement he made, according to USA Today:

“Obviously, it was a bad choice of words. I wish I hadn’t said it. I have a great relationship with 

Special Olympics back in Baltimore and have had one for many years. I didn’t mean to offend anybody, but I definitely apologize for it.”

I commend Flacco for knowing he was in the wrong. He began apologizing before he finished his sentence. He then took it another step by addressing the word with a statement to the media within 24 hours.

Interestingly, however, Flacco did not utilize social media to get his apology out.

According to his official Twitter page, his last tweet, as of late Wednesday, was to announce a gummy bear endorsement deal.

Given the relevance of social media and its ability to get the message out of multitudes, why didn’t he?

One might argue Flacco was busy with interviews, practice and preparing for Sunday’s big game. However, I am sure Flacco has an agent or public relations officer who could have crafted a tweet for him.

Furthermore, the fact that “retarded” rolled off Flacco’s tongue on a national media stage says something about where we stand as a society.

Retarded is still common rhetoric in our society. Discriminatory words like the “R-word” or the “F-word” or the “N-word” are still used everyday and signal that we, as a society, have more work to do.

I don’t doubt Flacco’s sincerity with his apology, but I also hope young people who watched him say the word don’t make it part of their vocabulary.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged on by .

About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s