When asked about the plan to play next year's Super Bowl at the outdoor MetLife Stadium, the New Jersey native called it "retarded" before catching himself and changing the word to "stupid."
"I think it's retarded,” Flacco said of holding the NFL's championship game outdoors in a cold-weather climate. "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."
Something else people don't react well to is language that demeans others. The New York Post slammed Flacco for the use of the term, with the huge headline "Joe Wacco" on the front of its sports section.
According to the Disability Is Natural website, we should "never use disability words as insults," with a form of the one used by Flacco first on its list of examples. The site also says the phrase "mentally retarded" shouldn't even be used as a medical term; instead, "cognitive disability/diagnosis" is preferred.
Not saying that Flacco is a bad guy or that he meant any harm at all. It was just a poor choice of words and not the best first impression to make during Super Bowl week.