The Washington Post

Dolphins punish Don Jones for tweets about Michael Sam

Michael Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL. Upon hearing he was chosen by the St. Louis Rams, ESPN video of Sam's tearful reaction and kiss with his boyfriend went viral. (Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

The Miami Dolphins fined safety Don Jones and suspended him from team activities until he completes sensitivity training because of tweets about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player taken in the NFL draft.

“We were disappointed to read Don’s tweets during the NFL draft,” Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin said in a statement (via the Miami Herald). “They were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we regret the negative impact these comments had on such an important weekend for the NFL. We met with Don about respect, discrimination and judgment. These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program. We will continue to emphasize and educate our players that these statements will not be tolerated.”

Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday evening andJones, 23, tweeted “OMG” as ESPN showed Sam celebrating the historic moment by kissing his boyfriend. When someone asked Jones if he was referring to the kiss, he tweeted “horrible.” Both tweets have been deleted, but nothing really is deleted from the internet and the Dolphins, of course, dominated headlines last year for a bullying scandal that triggered an NFL investigation that showed a pattern of harassment by some players and a hostile work environment.

“I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media,” Jones said in a statement issued by the Dolphins. “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. Ross [owner Stephen Ross], my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for these tweets. 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.”


After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · May 12, 2014