PHOENIX (CBS5) – The event draws big crowds, even though their participants are little. Fort McDowell is hosting what they call “Extreme Midget Wrestling,” but one Valley woman calls it something different: offensive.
Chandra Streitt is a dwarf, and she says she has experienced discrimination all her life.
“It really does hurt me whenever people say, Look mom, there goes a midget and I do turn around and correct them.”
She was even part of a group that petitioned for a proclamation to be signed, which makes it wrong for the word “midget” to be used in advertising or other public forums.
“The m word is not right, it s offensive,” Streitt said.
Streitt said people would not ever think about using other words that would be considered offensive in advertising, so why should the word “midget” be any different.
“We re born with dwarfism not midgetism,” Streitt said.
Streitt said whenever the word “midget” is used in a public forum, it is a step backwards for her, and other little people. That s why she wishes the event were simply advertised differently.
“I ve seen little people in regular wrestling like WWE or whatever, and to me that s actually a little better, because we re putting ourselves out there with average height people, and showing that we can live normal lives,” Streitt said.
Streitt is not asking that the Saturday event be canceled, she just wants people to be more aware of possibly offending someone, intentional or not.
“If they want to wrestle more power to them, like I said, we can pretty much do anything an average height person can do, so I get that, but don t use that word,” Streitt said.
CBS5AZ.com reached out to both Extreme Midget Wrestling and Fort McDowell Casino for comment, and have not heard back from them.