Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing
The Miami Dolphins fined and suspended second-year defenseman Don Jones for his homophobic response on Twitter immediately following the clip of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend in celebration of his NFL draft.
ESPN aired a video of Michael Sam receiving the news that he has been drafted to the St. Louis Rams, in effect making him the first openly gay NFL player. Elated, Sam and Vito Cammisano share a kiss on screen, to which Jones tweeted “horrible” and “OMG.”
According to CNN, Jones immediately tweeted “horrible” and “OMG” after the kiss aired. He has since deleted those comments.
The Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin released a statement denouncing Jones’s comments as “inappropriate and unacceptable.”
“That's not what we stand for as an organization. The draft weekend is a culmination for so many players, their lifetime achievement of their dream to achieve a goal for Michael Sam and all the other players, “ said Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey upon learning of Jones’s comments toward Michael Sam. "It's a celebration. ... I think it's a great thing for the league."
Jones has since apologized, stating, "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. 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."
Jones must now complete educational training prior to returning to the Dolphins.