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Should NFL Punish Joe Flacco for 'Retarded' Comment?

Jan 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) addresses the press during media day in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Chris TrapassoAnalyst IJanuary 29, 2013

Joe Flacco doesn't like the idea of a cold weather Super Bowl. In fact, he used a choice word to convey his specific thoughts. 

On Monday during Super Bowl week when the Baltimore Ravens quarterback was asked about the NFL's decision to hold its title game in New Jersey next year, he said "I think it's retarded."

His unfortunate word choice was obviously met with some criticism, as expected.

But the NFL doesn't need to reprimand him in any way. 

Per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, here's what Flacco said on Super Bowl media day:

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."

Misspeaking is not grounds for a fine or league punishment of any kind.

Clearly, Flacco simply misspoke. 

The league can't set a precedent with Flacco, but NFL officials should make it known to the veteran quarterback and other players that verbal slips to the media won't be tolerated in the future, especially if they continually happen.

But Flacco should be given a pass—he certainly didn't have any poor intentions and he is a "first-time offender." 

He promptly apologized on Media Day, and that's all the league should have expected for this blunder.

 

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