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Joe Flacco takes the R-word pledge

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco called a "cold-weather" Super Bowl "retarded" at pre-game media availability in advance of Super Bowl XLVII. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/78c22fd734ee447505269b5810e89525/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco called a "cold-weather" Super Bowl "retarded" at pre-game media availability in advance of Super Bowl XLVII. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco joins more than 400,000 people in signing on to to the "R" word pledge, promising to cut the word "retarded" out of his vocabulary.

Just a few months after taking heat for describing a cold-weather Super Bowl venue as "retarded" and "stupid,", Flacco seems to have learned his lesson.

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Along with teammates Ed Dickson and Gino Gradkowski, Flacco joined with the Maryland chapter of the Special Olympics in taking the pledge:

"I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities."

Mental retardation is a term once commonly used to describe a variety of intellectual impairments, but has become more commonly used as an insult.

"When 'retard' and 'retarded' are used as synonyms for 'dumb' or 'stupid' by people without disabilities, it only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being less valued members of humanity," the R-word pledge site explains.

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