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Marvin Lewis apologizes for calling Johnny Manziel a “midget”

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Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis called Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel a “midget” in a radio interview Monday when asked if the Browns quarterback decision would affect how the Bengals prepared for this week’s game in Cleveland.

It didn’t take long for Lewis to offer up an apology for the statement.

According to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Lewis issued an apology Monday night for the comment.

“I apologize to Johnny and the Browns and all the fans in Cleveland,” Lewis said. “It was just a poor remark. I really didn’t mean anything by it.”

Lewis answered the question by saying they wouldn’t change their strategy based on which quarterback is expected to play.

“You’ll get a little bit more movement if Manziel’s the quarterback, the thing that they did against Buffalo. But other than that, no, that doesn’t impact you at all. You gotta go defend the offense. You don’t defend the player.”

Lewis paused, then added: “Particularly a midget.”

Lewis was likely just trying to add a moment of levity to the interview and just made a poor choice of words, since the term “midget” is generally considered to be insensitive to people of smaller stature.

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125 Responses to “Marvin Lewis apologizes for calling Johnny Manziel a “midget””
  1. lks311 says: Dec 9, 2014 12:36 AM

    Shouldn’t he have apologized to Little People for associating them with Johnny Manziel?

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 9, 2014 12:37 AM

    Yeah, you can’t really game plan around the guy. He’s probably going to walk on four straight pitches, anyway, then they’ll lift him for a pinch runner.

  3. dennisatunity says: Dec 9, 2014 12:37 AM

    It’s nice that he apologized, but what is he–5 years old?

  4. cincylaw says: Dec 9, 2014 12:38 AM

    And somewhere, Brian Hoyer is giggling like a schoolgirl.

  5. profish13 says: Dec 9, 2014 12:38 AM

    Do not apologize, you said nothing wrong. If some group of bleeding hearts wants to be offended over something so trivial, let them.

  6. mazenblue says: Dec 9, 2014 12:39 AM

    “Marvin Lewis apologizes……….”

    Not without me LMAO first. Thx Marvin. Michigan salutes you.

  7. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Dec 9, 2014 12:42 AM

    Little people everywhere were understandably offended for being compared to Johnny Manziel.

  8. bigcardfan says: Dec 9, 2014 12:44 AM

    Man if I was a midget I would be mad he compared me to Manziel!

  9. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Dec 9, 2014 12:47 AM

    Considering the new day of political correctness….please!

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 9, 2014 12:47 AM

    Wikipedia refers to Eddie Gaedel as “an American with dwarfism”. That might be a more sensitive way to refer to Johnny in the future, Marvin Lewis.

  11. trodriguez89 says: Dec 9, 2014 12:49 AM

    He’s a dwarf

  12. myhawks1976 says: Dec 9, 2014 12:49 AM

    I really despise the fact that any time a public figure says absolutely anything “off script” an apology is immediately following.

    I could care less about the comment. If Pettine wants to make issue then start Johnny and let Johnny shut Marvin up on the field. where it matters.

  13. neardeadinoh says: Dec 9, 2014 12:50 AM

    Bite me!

  14. bronco1st says: Dec 9, 2014 12:54 AM

    Just remove “to” from the “midget” definition given and you have “is generally considered to be insensitive people of smaller stature”… that sounds like Lewis!

  15. vikingsftw says: Dec 9, 2014 12:56 AM

    Too little too late Marvin. What was he trying to make, small talk? It takes a tiny brain to make such an insensitive comment. What he said in the interview today dwarfs anything rude any coach has said this year. Maybe his diminutive stature as a coach this year has something to do with or maybe he just grew up a shrimp himself. And if he reads this and does not like my comments he is a baby with a teeny tiny miniscule self esteem!

  16. heybackatyou says: Dec 9, 2014 12:59 AM

    Time for a Cincinnati fan poll on who they would rather have as their QB: Manziel (the midget) or Dalton (the elite)

  17. hittfamily says: Dec 9, 2014 1:03 AM

    I for one am appalled at his insensitive remark! Midgets would never agree to a contract with the Browns!

  18. cannabisisgreat says: Dec 9, 2014 1:04 AM

    Enough with the political correctness

  19. cjpom664 says: Dec 9, 2014 1:09 AM

    Our society is so soft.

  20. hanspard says: Dec 9, 2014 1:14 AM

    Well, I guess the internet will make a big deal out of this……

  21. est285 says: Dec 9, 2014 1:17 AM

    Don’t apologize Marvin. People need to lighten up these days and stop having such thin skin.

    And by NFL standards, he is a midget. Get over your must be always righteous BS, media.

  22. chargerdillon says: Dec 9, 2014 1:18 AM

    Andy Dalton is 6’2 and plays like garbage. Better hope your 100 million dollar red rifle doesn’t get shown up by a midget rookie.

  23. muslimponder says: Dec 9, 2014 1:25 AM

    I wish I was a 6 foot tall midget 😥

  24. muslimponder says: Dec 9, 2014 1:25 AM

    I wish I was a 6 foot tall midget 😥

  25. jim0tt0 says: Dec 9, 2014 1:31 AM

    Fire Goodell

  26. justcallingit says: Dec 9, 2014 1:35 AM

    Of all the photos they could have used above, I think that one captures it like a Kodak moment.

  27. axx1 says: Dec 9, 2014 1:35 AM

    Guys will be guys.

    Dont need any social justice warriers telling us what is and isn’t acceptable to say.

  28. sergeant2 says: Dec 9, 2014 1:36 AM

    Marvin Lewis, who quite possibly could be the longest tenured incompetent head coach in the history of the NFL is the last person that should make a disparaging remark about anyone.

  29. dubblelznhell says: Dec 9, 2014 1:37 AM

    Everybody apologizes….

  30. smackingfools says: Dec 9, 2014 1:37 AM

    Just wait until the little people hear about this. He’ll have another apology to make.

  31. chrispin53 says: Dec 9, 2014 1:39 AM

    Perfect Picture, bet the editors at PTI found this particular pic after they published the original “Lewis calls Maziel a midget” story, but seeing how hilariously appropriate this picture is they did us, skip Bayleess and Stephan A. Smith a favor by providing us with the perfect face to see him uttering the midget comment in.

  32. eljefedelmundo says: Dec 9, 2014 1:39 AM

    Was he “belittling” him?

  33. jdphx says: Dec 9, 2014 1:42 AM

    Well…. there are midgets in stature.

    Then there are midgets in mental capacity. Hi Marvy!

  34. therealraider says: Dec 9, 2014 1:51 AM

    What grown man goes by the name “johnny”? .. “John Manziel” would garner much more respect.

  35. brohamma says: Dec 9, 2014 1:57 AM

    So if Joe Thomas tossed Manziel to Josh Gordon, would Thomas and Manziel both get credit for a completed forward pass?

  36. hopelessincincy says: Dec 9, 2014 2:06 AM

    Lewis is a complete mental midget. If Mike Brown had any desire whatsoever to win this clown of a coach would have been gone years ago. The only reason Lewis still has his position is ownership doesn’t want to spend the money it would take to get a legitimate head coach.

  37. enigma2742 says: Dec 9, 2014 2:09 AM


  38. NoobTubeTV says: Dec 9, 2014 2:17 AM

    He had a moment to think about what he was going to say – and he said it. He isn’t sorry about anything.

  39. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Dec 9, 2014 2:23 AM

    Im sure he genuinely feels regret about his comment. And suddenly I hope Johnny crushes this guys team on behalf of all of us 6’0″ tall “midgets”.

  40. suite34 says: Dec 9, 2014 2:29 AM

    I’m sure little people who were insulted by the comment will graciously accept Marvin’s apology to…Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns? It’s not an insult being small in stature; it’s insulting to society being small-minded.

  41. cowboysdoitbigger says: Dec 9, 2014 2:34 AM

    How does this guy still have a job, after years of accomplishing nothing???

  42. therealzeitgeist says: Dec 9, 2014 2:34 AM

    Football jocks using terms “generally considered to be insensitive to people of smaller stature?”

    Shocked. Just shocked.

  43. bengalsfan2079 says: Dec 9, 2014 2:36 AM

    I guess either Marvin’s been hanging around Jeremy Hill too long or Jeremy Hill learned what not to say in the media from Marvin. One of the two.

    Is it really a big deal? Honestly not, but why say it though and give Manziel more motivation if he starts this week?

  44. shamegame13 says: Dec 9, 2014 2:41 AM

    You should apologize, after all, your QB is Andy Hoyer.. im sorry, Andy Dalton.. I forgot, they are almost same player except Dalton makes way more money! Marv, your the most overrated HC, so its fitting that you have an overpaid QB!

  45. yetimonster says: Dec 9, 2014 2:59 AM

    Great pic as usual PFT!

  46. dabears2485 says: Dec 9, 2014 3:02 AM

    I’d much rather have Belichick’s mumbling non-answers than poor attempt at levity. I don’t find Lewis’s comments offensive, but it was rather immature. He should have stuck to the answer he gave without adding a bad joke.

  47. babygaga19 says: Dec 9, 2014 3:05 AM

    Midget hell, Jonny Football is a chump!

  48. denverscott says: Dec 9, 2014 3:21 AM

    Hey Marv, I’ve seen him dude. He can TOTALLY touch Justin Beibers hair flip.

  49. ajas95 says: Dec 9, 2014 3:32 AM

    Give Marvin a break, he just took a $20 Million bong hit on Andy Dalton.

    Listen Marvin– winners get to joke. Losers have to be serious. Fans don’t like joking losers.

  50. tinbender2000 says: Dec 9, 2014 3:56 AM

    Me thinks Marvin’s had a few too many shots to the head.

  51. bleedingfacemask says: Dec 9, 2014 4:18 AM

    As I understand it, the term “midget” is generally considered to be insensitive to dwarfs.

    Regular short people just need to get used to it.

  52. katra2logic says: Dec 9, 2014 4:22 AM

    He should be apologizing to the midgets…

  53. joetoronto says: Dec 9, 2014 4:29 AM

    The man is an idiot, he proves it over and over.

    HC’s just can’t say certain things and this is one of them.

  54. iamdinguskhan says: Dec 9, 2014 4:44 AM

    Don’t apologize for speaking the truth Marvin. Undisclosed sources are reporting that the Browns will change their names to the Cleveland Midgets and the PFT reporters already have stated that they will not use the term ” Midgets” in any of their articles…they will just say ” that Cleveland team”….
    HTTM…Hail to the Midgets!

  55. frithstreetpost says: Dec 9, 2014 5:14 AM

    Very funny. In our overly sanitised, media managed world, it’s good to see an NFL coach be a little human. Good of him to apologise, but great to see the human side – the NFL system makes coaches into robotic types, so nice to see the human side.

  56. abninf says: Dec 9, 2014 5:17 AM

    Drew Brees wants an explanation.

  57. raider316 says: Dec 9, 2014 5:19 AM

    Everything you say in this country nowadays offends someone. Sheesh!

  58. boomgrounder says: Dec 9, 2014 5:31 AM

    Not a Cleveland or Manziel fan but Lewis needs to win a Playoff game or he will be forever known as a post season coaching “midget”!

  59. hornbuckle says: Dec 9, 2014 5:32 AM

    Lewis finally said something funny.

  60. bengalsofthenorth says: Dec 9, 2014 5:40 AM

    whatever. manziel is a midget. nothing to apologize for.

  61. robkiss1234567890 says: Dec 9, 2014 5:45 AM

    Marvin Lewis is a mental midget

  62. 87hollywoodhorn says: Dec 9, 2014 5:49 AM

    Marvin Lewis has been in the league so long that he will do and say whatever he wants.
    He knows Mike Brown is too cheap to ever pay for a new coach.

  63. jammer88 says: Dec 9, 2014 5:49 AM

    Why should Coach Lewis apologize? Manziel is a midget.

  64. vbe2 says: Dec 9, 2014 5:50 AM

    His meaning, which he didn’t say was “Mental Midget”, he just left the “Mental” part out initially.

    Make no mistake about it though, Johnny Midget is a mental midget.

  65. wnstonchill says: Dec 9, 2014 5:51 AM

    Johnny is a “mental midget”. Stick with the truth, Big Marv !!

  66. jetfanfolife says: Dec 9, 2014 5:57 AM

    lol…so what?!

    This really has become the No Fun League…smh

  67. bmore44 says: Dec 9, 2014 6:03 AM

    This guys days were numbered before they drafted Andy He would be sitting home right now. Andy saved your Job!! You still suck as coach too Mr conservative !!

  68. topdawgandmightyminni says: Dec 9, 2014 6:04 AM

    Last I remember the Browns gave the Benglas a beatdown in front a their home crowd and on a national stage. Maybe Lewis should focus more on beating the Browns this time than calling the back up QB a name….

    I thought Marvin Lewis was a class act. Seems from his comment he’s just the opposite.

  69. uglydingo says: Dec 9, 2014 6:06 AM

    Well Marv, why did you say it in the first place? Are you auditioning for the coach’s media idiot award, if/when Rex Ryan loses his job?

  70. donmcg2012 says: Dec 9, 2014 6:19 AM

    But he is small, and won’t last in the nfl.

  71. princessmorbucks says: Dec 9, 2014 6:31 AM


  72. liongator says: Dec 9, 2014 6:34 AM

    I believe Johnny Frodo prefers the term “hobbit.”

  73. generalobvious says: Dec 9, 2014 6:35 AM

    Boyziel prefers to be called “vertically challenged”.

  74. hwould says: Dec 9, 2014 6:40 AM

    Between Coach Lewis and Jeremy Hill, it seems like the Bengals want the Browns to win.

  75. igornathanhiggers says: Dec 9, 2014 6:56 AM

    How dare he use the M-word…time for sensitivity training and a suspension.

  76. restorativejusticeprogram says: Dec 9, 2014 6:58 AM

    How has this mediocre coach kept his job for so long?

  77. 1point21jjwatts says: Dec 9, 2014 7:01 AM

    Wow, never mind apologizing for using an insensitive term… Also nice pic.

  78. davebarnes21 says: Dec 9, 2014 7:04 AM

    I love marvin lewis!

  79. jayhawk6 says: Dec 9, 2014 7:12 AM

    Apologize all you want, Marvin, but that won’t keep the midget’s performance from biting you in the backside at some point.

  80. fatsolio says: Dec 9, 2014 7:24 AM

    I doubt Manziel is offended seeing as it came from Marvin Lewis, the king of playoff choking coaches.

  81. jgedgar70 says: Dec 9, 2014 7:26 AM

    I have always wondered why “little person” is any less offensive than “midget.” Not being flippant or sarcastic; I genuinely don’t understand. “Little person” can be used in an equally derrogatory way. I would think just saying “short” would be inoffensive enough.

    To me, what made Marvin’s remark ridiculous is that Hoyer and Manziel are only 2 inches apart. Now if you’re comparing someone slender and about 6 feet tall to Cam Newton, you might have a better comparison.

  82. bonniebengal says: Dec 9, 2014 7:28 AM

    That was wrong. He’s not a little person. He’s at least 5’8.

  83. ravenswhat says: Dec 9, 2014 7:41 AM

    lol at Marv trying to stuff the toothpaste back into the tube.

  84. vex24 says: Dec 9, 2014 7:42 AM

    This may not have been a Freudian slip, but a planned poke at hoping that the browns will start a rookie instead of the QB that lead them to the win last time. Obviously, it would be a safer option to face “johnny feetball” than hoyer. Marvin just doesn’t make these kinds of mistakes; Therefore, it probably wasn’t a mistake.

  85. rutchaser says: Dec 9, 2014 7:45 AM

    I’m a Bengals fan and I can stand Marvin. What has he accomplished to make him think he can make some of these comments he’s made lately? Also it’s going to look bad when Cleveland beats us with Manziel after Lewis is knocking his size. Hey Marvin, don’t you recall what happened about a month ago against Cleveland? I’d be worried about that. Stop being arrogant just because you have no accountability for never winning a playoff game and keeping your job for 12 years. You are average.

  86. bengalskuta82 says: Dec 9, 2014 7:50 AM

    Nothing wrong with that. Sounds like just good fun. He pokes fun Tebow, Ocho, especially those celebrity NFL players. Its all good. Hopefully the Browns fans, players and Cleveland community can just laugh it off and move on

  87. cafetero1075 says: Dec 9, 2014 7:50 AM

    A clown is more appropriate.

  88. ballboy48 says: Dec 9, 2014 7:54 AM

    Uh Marvin…He still has the same number of playoff wins as you.

  89. jimmyt says: Dec 9, 2014 7:58 AM

    What if he had called him a midget redskin? Think anyones head would explode?

  90. audient says: Dec 9, 2014 8:03 AM

    Too late. It’s up on the bulletin board in Berea. Down low so JFF can see it.

  91. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 9, 2014 8:08 AM

    It’s too late, Marvin. Trolls never forget.

  92. pdmjr says: Dec 9, 2014 8:10 AM

    Dwarf perhaps?

  93. samoanjungle says: Dec 9, 2014 8:13 AM

    If 6′ is a midget then I’m an oompa loompa

  94. nickinneohio says: Dec 9, 2014 8:13 AM

    Let the insensitivity comments begin.
    Reportedly, Sleeply, Dopey, and the North Pole Laborers Union #1225 are organizing a protest of the Bengals and Lewis at their next game in Cleve. The Munchkins had no comment at this time.

  95. DicksSportingWoods says: Dec 9, 2014 8:18 AM

    He’s a douche for saying it, but more of a douche for apologizing. You said it, you meant it, own it.

  96. wallydippins says: Dec 9, 2014 8:20 AM

    Mind blowing that this guy is still an NFL coach.

  97. guitarkevin says: Dec 9, 2014 8:25 AM

    Another Marvin Lewis BLUNDER moment to go along with his 12 years of not winning a playoff game.


  98. RomoIsGod says: Dec 9, 2014 8:37 AM

    You’ve got to be kidding me!?!?!!?! Another example of ‘Merica’s fall from grace. He called one guy a midget, who by all measures is a midget in his given profession, and someone else was offended so he had to apologize. I swear, the things people get offended about offends me.

  99. howiehandles says: Dec 9, 2014 8:38 AM

    Probably one of the nicer things your could say about Manziel. I don’t see him being a long term starter, but enjoying all the buzz around him, both positive and negative.

  100. edgarpoe3 says: Dec 9, 2014 8:44 AM

    I can understand why the “little people” would be offended by being associated with Manziel.

  101. randygnyc says: Dec 9, 2014 8:49 AM

    All this insensitivity and bigotry coming from another minority? Can’t say I’m shocked. AT. ALL.

  102. gonzosquidwardkaepernick says: Dec 9, 2014 8:52 AM

    Name me one head coach (that was good) in the history of the NFL, that has insulted a divisional QB that was good. Give up? The correct answer is zero. Marvin Lewis just flat out sucks.

  103. igocommando says: Dec 9, 2014 9:06 AM

    What an ignoramus! The only reason this goofball is still a head coach is that he has a knack for hiring very good assistant coaches.

  104. sb44champs says: Dec 9, 2014 9:09 AM

    Marvin Lewis needs to win a playoff game one day

  105. igocommando says: Dec 9, 2014 9:10 AM

    He prefers the name Johnny the Actor. Ack Ack.

  106. timmmah10 says: Dec 9, 2014 9:11 AM

    “People of smaller stature” feels offensive at first glance…

  107. gotdressedinabooth says: Dec 9, 2014 9:15 AM

    Johnny Manziel comes up short in the height department, Marvin Jones comes us short in the playoff wins department. Touche.

  108. chinahand11 says: Dec 9, 2014 9:15 AM

    Coach Marvin is a dinosaur in more ways than one I see.

  109. gotdressedinabooth says: Dec 9, 2014 9:16 AM

    haha Marvin Lewis. See what happens when people are insensitive?

  110. steelerdeathstar says: Dec 9, 2014 9:17 AM

    Lewis remark may have been insensitive, and probably was. But once again, no one can publicly say anything in this country anymore, no matter how innocent the intent, without offending someone. Political correctness is tearing at our country.

  111. meurah says: Dec 9, 2014 9:18 AM

    Poor choice of words, considering you are going to be playing them next week. Nothing like riling up a divisional opponent, their starting QB, their fanbase, and probably coach and playerbase before a very important game.

    Especially when you have trouble winning on the road.

    Good move Marvin, good move.

  112. scoops1 says: Dec 9, 2014 9:21 AM

    Marvin Lewis sounds like he could use a snickers bar

  113. dimi1919 says: Dec 9, 2014 9:22 AM

    After Sundays destruction he had to deflect the media into another direction.

  114. negativten says: Dec 9, 2014 9:24 AM

    This is America damn it. Marvin, say what you want.
    This just in-Jay Gruden called his team Redskins.
    apology imminent

  115. bigbensbathroomseed says: Dec 9, 2014 9:33 AM

    Ugh the PC in this world is out of control.

  116. karmathaitch says: Dec 9, 2014 9:39 AM

    I thought it was funny

  117. beelicker says: Dec 9, 2014 9:48 AM

    Seems to me that being offended by ‘political correctness’ is extremely disingenuous …

  118. kevinb73 says: Dec 9, 2014 9:55 AM

    I think it was probably said in fun and it was funny. Guys are always digging at each other. I like trash talk. Wish there was more. Makes the games more interesting. Also, a 6 foot QB is short by NFL standards.

  119. troy43mvp says: Dec 9, 2014 10:15 AM

    Marvin eat a Snickers ….you’re not quite yourself!

  120. torpedo8 says: Dec 9, 2014 11:02 AM

    Six foot midgets, what is this world coming to?

  121. olskool711 says: Dec 9, 2014 11:37 AM

    The bungles keep talking trash to a team that pounded them into the turf and stepped on their face the last time they played.

    They may win the espy for the most stupid, ignorant team of the year.

  122. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 9, 2014 2:27 PM

    “Coach Marvin is a dinosaur in more ways than one I see.”

    Large lizards everywhere are offended by your insensitive use of the word “dinosaur”.

  123. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 9, 2014 2:56 PM

    “They may win the espy for the most stupid, ignorant team of the year.”

    Incorrect. That award will be won by one of the Harbaugh brothers. The Bengals should have the award for the most inconsistent team pretty well locked up, though.

  124. b412 says: Dec 10, 2014 2:31 AM

    Anyone that heard the interview knew Lewis threw the “midget” remark in as a joke. To his credit he recognized it was a mistake and offered a couple of serious, well thought out, apologizes. His remarks are just slightly more offensive than the people that constantly call Lewis a loser that sucks who should be fired. Can’t say Cleveland has made any brilliant choices in head coaches since they were reborn.

  125. stephaniec1950 says: Dec 10, 2014 11:17 PM

    Haven’t any of those bozos heard of “midget football”???

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