Dolphins' Suspension of Don Jones After Homophobic Tweets Was the Right Call

Categories: Sports, The Gays

don-jones.jpg
It's getting to the point where it's almost become its own parody. But it's no joke. For the second time in a week, a Miami Dolphins player tweeted out something dumb concerning a player in the draft.

Safety Don Jones tweeted out disapproving comments about Michael Sam -- the NFL's first openly gay player -- being shown kissing his boyfriend as he celebrated being drafted by the St. Louis Rams.

Days ago, center Mike Pouncey tweeted out comments that alluded to rookie hazing.

But Jones' tweet is seen in a more egregious light.

The Miami Dolphins stepped in pretty quickly to try to put out the fire by fining Jones and suspending him from football activities.

See also: Mike Pouncey Made an Unfortunate Tweet About Dolphins' Draft Pick

The whole thing went down Saturday night after St. Louis took Sam 249th overall. Cameras caught Sam kissing his boyfriend on the mouth, and Jones tweeted out, "OMG."

When asked if that tweet was a reaction to the kiss, Jones responded, "Horrible."

jones-tweet.png

Much like with the Pouncey tweet, Dolphins brass moved quickly to address the situation.

General Manager Dennis Hickey told ESPN.com he was disappointed by Jones' comments.

"That's not what we stand for as an organization," Hickey said. "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."

Hickey then said he'd sit with Jones and discuss the tweet. And a day later, it was announced Jones was fined an undisclosed amount and suspended from football activities until he undergoes educational training.

For his part, Jones released a statement through the team, expressing his regret for the tweets.

via the Miami Dolphins:

"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."

Coach Joe Philbin also released a statement in which he called Jones' tweets unacceptable.

"We met with Don today about respect, discrimination, and judgment," Philbin said in his statement. "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."

Much like Pouncey before him, Jones deleted the offending tweets (actually, Pouncey deleted his entire Twitter account). He also made the account secure, meaning that it can't be viewed publicly unless you send him a follow request.

Some will argue that all the negative attention on Jones is overkill or that the suspension and fine are over-the-top. But the suspension and fine was just the right amount of punishment for this.

Because it draws us to the larger points in all this:

1. The Miami Dolphins Already Have a PR Problem
The Dolphins are the last team that needs to be getting into trouble with insensitive and inappropriate remarks from players. The Incognito-Martin scandal was rife with homophobia and inappropriate behavior. Then Pouncey tweets out a hazing remark, and now Jones reveals that he thinks two men kissing is "horrible." It is a big deal that Jones is being vilified for this, because his comments were wholly homophobic in nature and tone. Sure, he didn't rail against gays. But he didn't have to. "Horrible" put it quite succinctly. Now, that may be his right to feel that way. But the Dolphins are trying to clean up the mess left by Incognito and are in a very zero-policy place right now. A suspension and fine was absolutely the right things to do. Which leads us to....

2. No, This Is Not a First Amendment Issue
Yes, there is a right to free speech. That means that the government can't come after you if you say horrible or inappropriate things in public. We are all free to be as big of an asshole as we wish. However, the First Amendment isn't an employer issue. There are consequences for things you say, even if those things aren't illegal. You can say how much you hate two men kissing all you want. But your employer might have rules against that kind of thing and have every right to punish you however it sees fit.

3. Michael Sam Is Living His Life, So Please Deal With It
We're living in a world that is increasingly more tolerant. And that's a good thing. For some, however, the Jones-tweet thing will only bring out their anger toward the gay culture -- just as many predicted when Sam first came out as gay months ago. But what those people need to realize is that there isn't a large conspiracy to "force" gayness on them or to celebrate something they find offensive and vile. Like many draft prospects, Sam was overcome with emotion when his dream of playing in the NFL was realized and he wanted to celebrate with his significant other. We see this all the time. Young quarterback has his name called out, and he kisses his attractive blond girlfriend. Sam went and did likewise.

Deal with it.


Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter



My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
James Craig
James Craig

In A merica as long as you stay a phoney bastard and do your job like a drone and have no emotions ,you got swag

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

I've been hearing that quote misused a lot lately. The consequences from free speech come from other individuals who have the right to speak freely in response, not to persecute the individual. The Dolphins as an individual corporation have the right to hold their organizational opinion, they do not have the right to persecute their employees for their opinions. If were brought to court, things would change...but it never does, because they settle before a precedent is set...it's in the corporate master's best interests to keep things malable

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

If it isn't illegal for companies to violate individuals rights, then companies wouldn't get sued for discrimination. After all, it isn't the government not hiring gay white men or black women, it's the corporation. Same shit, different spin. Remove head from ass and wipe shit from eyes...if you can follow these instructions, maybe you'll see it.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII topcommenter

""That's not what we stand for as an organization," Hickey said."

"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."


Actually, Dennis and Joe, that is what the Dolphins organization does stand for. 


Maybe after about 10 years of no incidents.

Leon Heflin
Leon Heflin

nobody can say anything offensive anymore without fear of retaliation. that's all I"m saying.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

How exactly is the government persecuting people when the Dolphins, a private organization, are the ones fining and doling out punishment?

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

You have the right to say whatever you want. You also have the right to deal with the consequences. The Dolphins have the right to respond to what was said in what ever way the see fit. People don;t seem to understand that the 1st amendment not only allows you to say what you want to, but it also allows other to respond to what you said.

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

...and the bill of rights applies to everyone at all times, not just government/individual. That's what the corporate master tells us, that they don't have adhere to our rights.

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

Wrong according to common law precedent set by judges whom have vested interests in corporate control. Yes, your employer or anyone can do whatever they want, and if you accept it, than it's acceptable. This is the typical response from those who mindlessly server their masters.

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland

Athletes need to quit using twitter. Doesn't do them any good.

Leon Heflin
Leon Heflin

as a result of group think and the pack mentality of politically correct douchebags in washington, the government is prosecuting people without having to put them on trial.

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland

Wrong. 1st amendment rights applies only to government prosecution. Your employer can do whatever it wants if you say something publicly, especially if it sheds bad light on the organization. Plus they signed a contract to the company (Dolphins) to represent the company in a certain way. You can say whatever you want, but they have every right to punish you for it.

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland

First amendment applies only to government prosecution.

Leon Heflin
Leon Heflin

our first amendment rights are under assault....

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

#2. You no longer are free. You serve the corporate masters who have every right to trample on your individual civil liberties. GTFO out with that bullshit. These are our rights, not just our rights in regards to the government.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...