by Seth Scott
Less than 24 hours after Jason Rose — the high-profile publicist for the Special Olympics of Arizona — made a Twitter post with language that demeaned persons with disabilities, the organization terminated its relationship with his firm, Rose+Moser+Allyn Public Relations.
Yesterday, Rose tweeted that “midgets” and “special ed” persons who live “nearby” pose “marketing challenges” for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. News of Rose’s Tweet was first posted on this blog.
Tim Martin, president and CEO of Special Olympics of Arizona, said that comments like Rose’s are not tolerated by the organization. ”We will not tolerate anyone being disrespectful toward our athletes,” he said.
I spoke with Rose on the phone earlier today. He apologized and said that he intended to communicate the “opposite” of what was tweeted, but I encouraged him to make a more public apology to those who are the targets of these kind of insults.
Rose should be commended for at least recognizing that his words were hurtful and inappropriate. Demeaning terms and jokes have no place in today’s society. Hopefully others will learn from his mistake.
Martin and the Special Olympics of Arizona deserve big-time kudos for staying true to their mission, and standing firm against comments like this one.
UPDATE: Valley news outlets are finally picking up on this story — and giving well-deserved praise to Special Olympics of Arizona for standing up for their athletes.