ST. LOUIS – The Miami Dolphins have suspended and fined a player for negative comments he made after the St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player.
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 quickly, ordering Jones to pay an undisclosed fine and barring him from team activities until he finishes “training for his recent comments made on social media.”
“We met with Don today about respect, discrimination and judgment,” the Dolphins said in a statement Sunday. “These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program.”
Jones issued an apology for his remarks.
“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.”
But many welcomed Sam’s 7th-round selection by the St. Louis Rams.
His new team is just two hours away from the University of Missouri, where Sam was an All-American and the Southeastern Conference’s defensive player of the year.
President Barack Obama also weighed in.
“The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey,” the White House said in a statement. “From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”