‘Open up your vocabulary, people.’

Wednesday Words, courtesy of Cleveland Brown’s cornerback Joe Haden.

“Open up your vocabulary, people.”


Haden is a Special Olympics Global Ambassador, the first NFL player to have such an honor.  I first heard the story of Joe and his brother Jacob a few weeks ago when I caught an interview on ESPN during coverage of the Special Olympics World Games.  Their story is a powerful one, and I encourage everyone to check out the interview in the clip above in addition to reading the article.

Joe Haden is part of the movement Spread the word to end the word, related to the use of the R-word.  (I won’t even type the word here because I HATE it with a passion.  Always have, always will.  And I’m not someone who throws around the ‘hate’ word often.)

According to their website:

The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It’s offensive. It’s derogatory.  Our campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people.  Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.  Pledge today to use respectful, people-first language.

I love this campaign and made my pledge the moment I heard about it.  Will you consider doing the same?

If you didn’t have a chance to check out the TV coverage on ESPN about the Special Olympics World Games, there are TONS of awesome stories about the athletes online.  I personally can’t wait for the next World Games in 2017!




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