(CNN) - The Special Olympics organization is calling on President Obama to "consider" hiring one of their athletes to work in the White House, following the president's reference to the organization during his Thursday night appearance on The Tonight Show.
“In so doing, he could help end misperceptions about the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, and demonstrate their dignity and value to the world," Timothy Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics, said in a statement released Friday morning.
Shriver also said the president was heartfelt in his apology, but added "words hurt and words matter."
"Words can cause pain and result in stereotypes that are unfair and damaging to people with intellectual disabilities,” Shriver said in the statement. “And using "Special Olympics" in a negative or derogatory context can be a humiliating put-down to people with special needs.”