Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones used a derogatory slur for little people when speaking to reporters as his team opened training camp.
Jones was discussing former Cowboys director of college and pro scouting Larry Lacewell, who died in May at the age of 85, and used the offensive term while making a hand gesture suggesting he was looking for a smaller person.
"Lace held court out here," Jones said. "I'm going to get me somebody, a m----t, 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."
In September 2015, the Little People of America issued a statement saying the word is "a derogatory slur" and should be abolished.
"Over 90% of our members surveyed stated that the word should never be used in reference to a person with dwarfism," the statement said.
As for Lacewell, he officially was a member of the Cowboys from 1992 through 2004 during a period that saw the team win three Super Bowl titles. However, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News noted Jones' "confidant" was still involved with the franchise even after retirement.
"Jones continued to use his friend as a sounding board, especially on defensive matters," Moore wrote. "Lacewell would frequently spend time with the team at training camp in Oxnard, Calif. and pop up periodically at the club's headquarters during the regular season."