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Cowboys’ Jerry Jones ‘blind referee’ costume perpetuates ‘harmful’ stereotypes, organization says


A national organization representing the blind community called Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about his “blind referee” costume, arguing that costumes like his further “perpetuate” stereotypes that blind people are “incompetent”.

National Federation of the Blind director Chris Danielsen said TMZ Sports On Thursday, Jones’ costume, intended to mock the NFL and its officials, is “harmful” to the blind community and appears to single out visually impaired Dallas fans.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks with referee John Hussey, #35, during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on October 16, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
(Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“He has blind Cowboys fans,” Danielsen told the outlet. “They show up to games and put on headphones or listen to the radio. Maybe that’s something he needs to think about.”

COWBOYS’ JERRY JONES FACING POSSIBLE NFL FINE FOR HALLOWEEN REFEREE COSTUME

Danielsen noted that 70% of blind people are unemployed, and called Jones and others’ decision to wear costumes mocking them, pushing the stereotype that blind people are “incompetent”.

“When someone perpetuates that stereotype, it’s harmful,” he said.

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Jones was seen dressed as a referee with sunglasses and a guide cane in an image posted to his niece’s social media account.

Cowboys’ Jerry Jones ‘blind referee’ costume perpetuates ‘harmful’ stereotypes, organization says

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones interacts with fans during warm-ups before the Cowboys face the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.
(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“I’m being very careful here because I’m very close to a fine. It shows how much I love dressing up as them…how much I respect their decision-making,” Jones said. Illustrated sports. “I had the cane and everything. And I used it on some people as well.”

The decision to give the match officials a subtle jab could cost Jones dear, Nevertheless.

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Cowboys’ Jerry Jones ‘blind referee’ costume perpetuates ‘harmful’ stereotypes, organization says

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones interacts with fans during warm-ups before the Cowboys face the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

According to a 2019 league memo, the NFL prohibits “comments regarding the the quality of the refereeing, individual calls or missed calls, the league’s referee department, an officiating team or an individual match official; [a]accuse game officials of acting biased or in any way questioning the integrity of NFL game officials; Where [p]posting negative or derogatory/degrading content regarding the refereeing on social media.”

The league has yet to comment on whether the NFL team owner will face discipline over his choice of costume.

Fox News’ Chantz Martin contributed to this report.


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