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Paul Johnson Refers To Georgia Heckler As 'Retarded,' Apologizes

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson is alternately beloved and ridiculed throughout the state for the way he talks about the Georgia Bulldogs. He dismisses the Dawgs as dismissively as he dismisses everything else, which comes across as either defiance or arrogance depending on the color of your sweatshirt.

This, however, is something different:

Johnson, who earlier in the day had commented how most Georgia fans he encounters are cordial, said, "Anybody who calls into a radio show and barks is either retarded or doesn't have a life."

After the show, Johnson said he meant his response as a joke, "but it was a poor choice of words on my part and I sincerely apologize. It was not my intention to offend anyone."

Johnson was right to apologize, though I wish he'd done it immediately and on the air. LeBron James was recently criticized for using the word retarded as an insult before he likewise apologized, though LeBron James gets criticized for everything, and now LeBron James and Paul Johnson have one thing in common. What LeBron James wouldn't give for Paul Johnson's hairline.

I'd expect Johnson to apologize again the next time his voice is made public. It's just something you have to do after making a mistake like this. Using a form of a term for mental disability as a slur is the same as using a racial slur.

No, I'm not squealing about being offended. It's just something that can't be said.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.