Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones was suspended after posting negative tweets regarding Michael Sam being drafted. Jones posted the comments on Saturday shortly after Sam, who is the first openly gay player to be taken in the NFL Draft, was selected by the St. Louis Rams.
Sam was the 249th player to be selected in the NFL Draft. ESPN videoed Sam's reaction to being selected, which included the defensive end crying and kissing his boyfriend. Shortly after the reaction was shown, Don Jones posted the comment "omg" to his Twitter account. When someone asked if he was referring to the kiss, Jones responded with "horrible."
The Miami Dolphins player deleted his comments shortly after making them, but the damage was already done. Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said he was "disappointed in those comments" and that the comments don't reflect what the Dolphins "stand for as an organization.”
Check out a screenshot someone took of the tweet below.
Posted without comment: pic.twitter.com/X4LIrQ18cR
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) May 10, 2014
It was announced today that Jones has been fined and suspended for his comments. The amount Jones was fined wasn't released, and he will reportedly be suspended from all team activities until he goes through sensitivity training. Jones has since apologized for his comments.
"I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media," Jones said. "I take full responsibility for them, and I regret that these tweets took away from his draft moment. I remember last year when I was drafted in the seventh round and all of the emotions and happiness I felt when I received the call that gave me an opportunity to play for an NFL team, and I wish him all the best in his NFL career."
"I sincerely apologize to Mr. [Stephen] Ross, my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for these tweets," Jones continued. "I am committed to represent the values of the Miami Dolphins organization and appreciate the opportunity I have been given to do so going forward."
Miami Dolphins Safety Don Jones Fined, Excused from Team Activities Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones has been (cont) http://t.co/I6dMYQ1JUh
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 12, 2014
While many people believe that the Miami Dolphins made the right move in suspending Don Jones, others wonder if the punishment is taking things too far. Quite a few folks question whether Jones should be punished for relatively harmless comments and others think that the suspension is infringing on Jones's right to free speech.
— Yvette Garcia (@YvetteGarcia19) May 12, 2014
Don jones got suspended and fined? Horrible! ...sorry guys. I have to go. The #NFL is sending me to sensitivity training for this tweet.
— waz (@djwaz) May 12, 2014
Don Jones is entitled to his opinion. What happened to free speech in the United States? Pro sports are becoming a joke.
— Kameron (@KamD54) May 12, 2014
Jones being punished probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise after the team received so much heat for a bullying case recently. Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito was suspended in November 2013 after another player claimed he hazed him and made racial slurs.
Image via Wikimedia Commons