Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has apologized for using the word "retarded" during his first Super Bowl news conference on Monday in New Orleans.
"Obviously, it was a bad choice of words. I wish I hadn't said it," Flacco said on Tuesday, according to the the Bergen County Record
. "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."
Flacco's poor choice of words stemmed from a question about the quarterback's opinion on the Jets and Giants hosting next year's Super Bowl at the outdoor MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. It would mark the first time in the game's history that a Super Bowl would be played in a cold-climate stadium without a roof.
"I think it's retarded," Flacco, a South Jersey native, said Monday of the decision. "I probably shouldn't say that. I think it's stupid. If you want a Super Bowl, put a retractable dome on your stadium. Then you can get one. Other than that, I don't really like the idea. I don't think people would react very well to it, or be glad to play anybody in that kind of weather."
Flacco's word choice drew criticism from national media. The New York Post
slammed him on Tuesday, calling his use of the term "derogatory."
Flacco, a standout in this year's playoffs, grew up in Audubon, N.J., near Philadelphia, hence his "Jersey Joe" nickname. He went to college at Pittsburgh and Delaware before getting drafted in 2008 by Baltimore.
The San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
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