The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) dropped plans to auction off a hat signed by Donald Trump amid concerns over both the candidate’s record and behavior, the New York Daily News reported.
“It was a lapse in judgement and the item was immediately removed when it was brought to our attention,” said the group’s president, Sara Hart Weir. “We are sincerely sorry for this mistake. NDSS does not support any political candidate, and we strongly condemn any and all derogatory comments made about people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities.”
The NDSS originally included the baseball cap — similar to the ones Trump has worn on the campaign trail bearing his slogan, “Make America great again” — as part of its 30th annual benefit auction, until supporters raised concerns on the society’s Facebook page.
“How does any part of his message support acceptance, awareness and inclusion?!?” one asked. “Especially after he mocked the gentleman with the physical disability!”
The remark was a reference to Trump’s crude mockery of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski during a rally last November. Kovalevski lives with arthrogryposis, which causes his joints to contract.
As the Daily Beast reported last December, Trump has been sued on multiple occasions because of a lack of disabled access to his properties. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey also found several issues with his Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, including a lack of signs marking handicapped parking access in the self-parking garage, among others.
“I was really floored once I found out it was on there,” said one NDSS supporter Hallie Levine whose daughter has Down syndrome. “Trump has a terrible record with people with disabilities.”