“I want to mention a gentleman I’m thinking about in England,” he said. “His name is Martin Henderson. Google him.”
Henderson, who was diagnosed with a form of dwarfism as a child, was the victim of an attack committed by a group of men who had participated in a “dwarf tossing” event that day. Standing outside a bar, Henderson was picked up by one of the men and dropped from a height of two or so metres. The incident left Henderson paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
The “sport” commonly referred to as dwarf tossing has been receiving some media attention lately due to both Dinklage’s speech and because a strip club in Windsor, Ont., held its own tossing event last week. The club drew a thousand people who wanted to compete for the engraved “Dwarf-Tossing Champion” trophy.
The game itself really isn’t that bad. Some people consider dwarf tossing dangerous or degrading, but the reality is the little people who are involved in the game are both interested and consenting. The man who was tossed in the Windsor competition is 30 years old and vocal about the fact that he enjoys both the game and the money he makes from it. He consented to being tossed—he wasn’t grabbed off the street at random for people to pitch across the room.
Labeling the contest as “Dwarf Tossing” is what makes the game degrading and unacceptable. The term “dwarf” is commonly considered a slur against—to use the politically correct term—little people.
If a man doesn’t mind being tossed and gets good money for it, then let him. His size shouldn’t make a difference, aside from the obvious ease of tossing a little person as opposed to a taller, heavier man. If a less degrading name were used for the event, and certainly a less demeaning title engraved on the trophy, there’d be nothing wrong with this event—it probably wouldn’t have even made the news.