If your public relations firm happens to represent an organization that advocates for people with disabilities, it's probably in your best interest to not make fun of people with disabilities. Just ask Valley PR honcho Jason Rose, who took to Twitter over the weekend to compare a "knucklehead" he saw at a Phoenix Coyotes game to a person with special needs.
Rose's PR firm, Rose, Moser and Allyn, which represented Special Olympics Arizona, was kicked to the curb by the organization yesterday thanks to some über-douchey comments Rose posted on his Twitter page over the weekend.
"usc-ucla? Felt like was sitting at a newport beach yacht club. Coyotes? Midgets, special ed and axel rose wannabes nearby," tweeted Rose -- whose stable of GOP clients includes his prize pig, Joe Arpaio.
We spoke to Rose this afternoon. When asked what on earth he was thinking, he gives the following explanation of his dopey tweet:
"I was thinking of criticizing a knucklehead who was at the Coyotes game and obviously garbled and mangled a tweet," Rose says. "It's something I feel awful about . . . If one person's offended, that's one too many. You have to stand up and take responsibility for it, and say you're sorry to those [who are offended], and that's what I'd like to do here, and that's what will continue to be done."
The Arizona Guardian is the first news outlet to catch wind of Rose's firing. Visit their website here.
Despite Rose's apparent remorse for the insensitive comment, Tim Martin, the CEO of Special Olympics Arizona, says the organization has a "zero-tolerance" policy when it comes to comments like those made by Rose.
"We don't want to give the impression that we condone that type of language, especially about our athletes," Martin tells New Times.
Martin says he started getting e-mails about Rose's tweets from parents and "community members" yesterday morning. By the end of the day, Rose, Moser and Allyn was given the boot by the organization.
"They were just unfortunate comments," Martin says.
Martin says Rose called him and apologized for the insensitive tweets, but it wasn't enough to save the relationship between the PR firm and his organization.
"He wants to make an effort to make this right in the future -- it was very obvious in talking to him that he was very sincere about how he didn't realize the impact of what words can mean to people," he says. "I think opportunities like this provide us with great opportunities to teach lessons. We all make mistakes in our life."
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Martin says Rose has pledged to continue to support Special Olympics Arizona in the future -- something Rose tells us he has every intention of doing.
However, the organization has since relocated a fundraising event that Rose had planned to host at his home this weekend.
"I don't fault the organization, which is among the most noble in the Valley, for desiring to relocate [the event]," Rose says. "It's important that money be raised, and we're helping with the relocation costs to do that . . . it's a little thing that we can do."
Rose acknowledges that the comments are worthy of criticism, and says he's "learned from the situation."