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Add “midget” to the not-so-short list of words you can’t say.
Little People of America (LPA) is demanding an apology from ESPN broadcaster Bill Walton after he used “the m-word” twice during a broadcast on Thursday.
The comments in question came at halftime of a basketball game between Arizona State and USC. Walton attempted to compliment the arena’s in-game host.
“He does not need a little chair because he is a giant in a world full of shriveling midgets,” Walton said.
Walton then turned to his broadcast partner, Dave Pasch, and joked, “Speaking of shriveling midgets, what is your name again?”
Pasch responded by asking, “What is wrong with you?”
“I’m guilty of having fun in Las Vegas, fun with a purpose,” Walton said.
We’ll leave it up to you to interpret that one.
But LPA was not as amused. Considered the largest dwarfism support group in the world, Little People of America considers the term “midget” to be a harmful slur.
“Any use of this disparaging slur along with suggestions or insinuations that our stature exists for
amusement is deplorable and inexcusable,” LPA said in a statement. “The millions of individuals with dwarfism around the globe already face unfair disadvantages in their daily life due to their disability including discrimination, harassment, and assault.”
And they didn’t let his broadcast partner off the hook, either.
“Silence can be complicit in perpetuating discrimination and prejudice,” the statement said. “We hope that in the future Dave Pasch will speak up against disparaging language in solidarity with our organization fighting for disability equity and justice.”
So many buzz words there.
Bill Walton is the latest sports figure in trouble for the ‘m-word.’
Walton’s comments are dwarfed in comparison to what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said during Training Camp last July.
Speaking with media members, Jones addressed the offseason passing of the team’s longtime Director of College and Pro Scouting, Larry Lacewell.
“Lace held court out here,” Jones said. “I’m going to get me somebody, a midget, to stand up there with me and dress him up like Lace and think Lace is still out here helping us. Look at the practice with us.”
After the LPA issued a statement — almost identical to the one they sent about Walton — Jones apologized.
“Earlier today I made a reference which I understand may have been viewed as offensive. I apologize.”
We’ll see if Walton follows suit.
Personally, though, I don’t know why the little people are so mad at Bill. It’s not like he suggested rounding up all the “midgets” and sending them to a ranch outside of town.
One CommentLeave a Reply
Enough. Bill Walton is untouchable.