Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is backtracking after calling the idea of a cold-weather Super Bowl "retarded."
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is having to dig himself out of a hole after using some insensitive language Monday. Flacco said that the idea of a cold-weather Super Bowl is "retarded," a statement for which he has since apologized.
"Obviously, it was a bad choice of words. I wish I hadn't said it," the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback said Tuesday during Super Bowl XLVII Media Day. "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."
Flacco's gaffe came Monday when he was asked about potentially playing in next year's Super Bowl, which will take place at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2, 2014. After calling the idea "retarded," he immediately tried to retract his statement:
"I think it's retarded. I probably shouldn't say that. I think it's stupid," said Flacco. "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."
Flacco has a history of working with the Baltimore Special Olympics, and in July, he spoke with the Baltimore Sun about his affinity for the organization:
"Special Olympics is such a cool organization," he said. "A lot of kids come out here and give it their all. The amount of fun that they have when they go out there and do it is out of this world. That's what it's really what it's about. It's about having fun. It's about showing little kids that want to play this sport how much fun it is. And I think when you get a chance to hang around the kids that compete at this kind of thing it allows me to kind of step back for a second and realize how lucky we are to be doing what we're doing."
Flacco is coming off a solid regular season in which he completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a career-high 3,817 yards. In the playoffs, he has thrown for 853 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Ravens and San Francisco 49ers meet Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII at New Orleans's Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Baltimore is looking for its first NFL title since the 2000 season, while San Francisco is trying to win the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994.