Donald Sterling isn’t the only sports figure whose mouth is getting him in trouble these days. Athletes have often had not-so-delicate locker room conversation, but what was said in the locker rooms stayed in the locker rooms. These days social media (in this instance Twitter) makes it so much easier for bloopers to go viral. Sunday the NFL’s Miami Dolphins organization fined safety Don Jones for mouthing off about fellow football player Michael Sam.
Michael Sam is the first openly gay player taken in an NFL draft. He is a former football player for the University of Missouri where he announced he was gay towards the end of his collegiate career. He wanted to make sure that any NFL team that drafted him in the future would not be in for any surprises. Sam was nabbed in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. Some consider this very late in the draft, however; that he got drafted at all after coming out as homosexual was history-making news in the world of professional football.
The trouble for Jones started after the draft picks. Although Jones is not on the Rams’ roster with Sam, on Saturday he still felt the need to pipe in and tweeted “OMG” and “Horrible” after Sam had been selected, and gave his partner a celebratory kiss. A short time later after common sense, or the legal department, caused him to have second thoughts, Jones deleted the tweets.
In addition to paying a fine, the amount of which has not yet been publicized, Jones has also been suspended from any Dolphin-related activities until he has completed an educational sensitivity training class. After his punishment was announced, Jones apologized to Sam, the Dolphins, and the NFL. Jones said that he remembers when he was a seventh round draft pick and the excitement surrounding the life-changing occasion. He said that he sincerely regrets if his tweets took away from Sam’s “draft moment.”