As The Washington Post’s Cindy Boren reported: “Michael Sam, the first openly gay player taken in the NFL draft, celebrated the moment the way other football players have celebrated: by kissing the person he is in a relationship with. The NFL’s historic moment was filmed by ESPN and, as St. Louis Rams Coach Jeff Fisher told him the news over the telephone, Sam broke into tears and sobbed. Then he embraced and kissed his boyfriend as they shared cake.”
But that didn’t go over well with some other NFL players.
CNN reports that Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones expressed his disapproval, tweeting “horrible” and “OMG” after the kiss was aired. He has since deleted those comments.
The Dolphins responded by disciplining Jones:
Don Jones has been fined an undisclosed amount and excused from all team activities until such time that he undergoes and completes educational training for his recent comments made on social media during the NFL Draft.
Coach Joe Philbin issued a statement:
We were disappointed to read Don’s tweets during the NFL Draft. 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 today 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.
It was accompanied by a statement from Jones:
I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media. 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, 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.
That sparked a debate among Dolphin fans, some of whom defended Jones, some of whom criticized him. See the comments at the bottom of the Dolphin’s press release.
This could go on.