Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday at the team’s training camp, Jones was paying tribute to former players and staff who have passed away recently.
In particular, Jones spoke about Larry Lacewell, the team’s former director of scouting who worked for the Cowboys from 1992 to 2004, winning three Super Bowl rings before he died aged 85 years old in May.
Jones said: “A lot of our staff, certainly our scouts — Jonesboro, Arkansas when they gave a big memorial to Lace. Lace held court out here. I’m gonna 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.”
In response, the Little People of America (LPA) — the world’s oldest and largest dwarfism support organization — criticized Jones’ use of the term.
“Ignorance at this point is simply not an excuse. Any use of this disparaging slur along with suggestions or insinuations that our stature exists for amusement is deplorable and inexcusable. The millions of individuals with dwarfism around the globe already face unfair disadvantages in their daily lives due to their disability including discrimination, harassment, and assault.”
Later in the day, Jones apologized for his use of the term. “Earlier today I made a reference which I understand may have been viewed as offensive. I apologize,” he said in a statement, reported by multiple media outlets.
“The dwarfism community has voiced that they prefer to be referred to as dwarfs, little people, people of short stature or having dwarfism, or simply, and most preferably, by their given name.”
CNN has reached out to the Cowboys for comment.