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Flacco signs pledge to eliminate use of 'R' word

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been heavily criticized for insensitively stating that the idea of a cold-weather Super Bowl was "retarded." Over the weekend, he signed a petition pledging to eliminate the use of the "R" word.

Flacco, who has had a relationship with Special Olympics Maryland since he was drafted by the Ravens in 2008, ruffled some feathers with his word choice when answering a question about a cold-weather Super Bowl at a press conference in February.

The Super Bowl MVP almost immediately acknowledged his mistake however.

"I guess I shouldn't say that [word]. It was a bad choice of words," he said.

"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 that."

Flacco's apology was accepted by Special Olympics Maryland, who remain supportive of the quarterback.

"We're glad to see he took it back immediately and recognized that he kind of made a slip," Special Olympics Maryland spokeswoman Linda Ellingsworth said. "We're still supportive of him and look forward to working with him in the future."

Flacco's teammates Ed Dickson and Gino Gradkowsk also signed the petition over the weekend.