Flacco got ripped for using the word like he did, and righteously so. It's one of those words that many people use without thinking. Joe along with a couple of his teammates have now pledged that they will never do it again.
Flacco was joined by teammates Ed Dickson and Gino Gradkowski at the Maryland office of the Special Olympics where they signed a pledge to never use the 'R' word ever again.
@teamflacco, @ginograd56, @eddickson84 of the @ravens sign the @r_word_campaign pledge to eliminate use of r-word twitter.com/SpOlympicsMD/s…
— Special Olympics MD (@SpOlympicsMD) May 19, 2013
At this point in time I don't think that there were too many people that were still thinking about Flacco's pre-Super Bowl flap. That's what makes this gesture all the more impressive.
He didn't need to do this to make amends or anything. He did it because he is a public figure that many look up to and emulate. So rather than perpetuate the stereotype and continue to use a word that is demeaning to a growing portion of the population he took a proactive step to help bring the practice to an end.
Nice move Joe (and you too Ed and Gino). As a parent of two autistic kids myself I bristle anytime I hear someone say something derogatory about kids and people with special needs/cognitive issues. People often ask what's wrong with them. My response is always quick and firm.
Nothing. They are just different.
So yeah, the pledge means a lot.