MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Don Jones, after being excused from all team activities for his comments on social media about the first openly gay player to be drafted, is back with the team.
Jones, a Miami Dolphins’ team source told CBS4, has completed his required educational training and is back with the Fins.
During the 2014 NFL Draft, shortly after the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam in the seventh round on May 10th, Jones tweeted, “Horrible.” The tweet was taken down a short time after.
Jones, according to the team, was fined an undisclosed amount in addition to being required to complete educational training before being able to return to team activities.
In a statement, Jones had apologized for the comment: “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.”
Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin also had something to say about Jones’ comments, saying in 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.”
The Dolphins were at the center of bullying scandal last season that embarrassed the league and drew nationwide scrutiny of locker room culture in the NFL.
After the draft on May 10th Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said he was made aware of Jones’ tweet.
“I was disappointed in those comments,” Hickey said. “That’s not what we stand for as an organization. The draft weekend is the culmination for so many players of their lifetime achievement of their dream to achieve their goal. For Michael Sam, for all the other players, it’s such a great celebration as they begin their future.