Halloween costumes like Jerry Jones‘ “blind referee” play into stereotypes that the visually impaired are incompetent … so says the National Federation of the Blind, which tells TMZ Sports these kinds of outfits are “harmful.”
Jerry dressed up in a ref uniform and sported sunglasses and a walking stick over the holiday weekend … in an attempt to playfully go after NFL officials for missing penalty calls.
While Jones certainly isn’t the first person to sport the costume, the NFB tells us it’s an “unfortunate” choice … especially because it leans into the underlying stereotype that the blind are “incompetent.”
“When anyone perpetuates that stereotype, it’s harmful,” Chris Danielsen, the NFB‘s director of PR tells us … pointing out nearly 70% of blind people are unemployed.
Instead of ripping into the Cowboys owner for his choice, Danielsen believes this can be a teachable moment for Jones and anyone else considering wearing costumes that make light of the blind.
“He does have blind Cowboys fans,” Danielsen added. “They show up at games and put on headsets or listen on the radio. It may be something for him to think about.”
Danielsen says there are plenty of blind people who want to be more involved in sports in any capacity … and the “blind referee” costume only complicates things for them.
There was another potential issue with Jones’ outfit — owners and coaches are subject to fines for publicly criticizing league officials — but the NFL elected not to punish him.