Miami Dolphins defensive back Don Jones has been fined an undisclosed amount by the team following an incident on Saturday where he sent out a tweet critical of Michael Sam. Jones has also been banned from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training.
After St. Louis selected the openly gay Sam with the 249th overall pick in the seventh and final round of the NFL Draft, Sam was caught on camera kissing his boyfriend in celebration. Just after the kiss happened, Jones tweeted ‘OMG’ and ‘Horrible.’
On Sunday night, Jones apologized for sending out the two tweets.
“I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media,” Jones said in a statement. “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.”
Jones didn’t just apologize to Sam either. He also apologized to the Dolphins: “I sincerely apologize to Mr. Ross, my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for these tweets,” Jones said. “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.”
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DeMarcus Walker @livinglegend_44
Y’all praise Michael Sam for being gay but y’all mocked Tim Tebow for being a Christian. Smh #Society
The NFL nearly had a super public relations crisis on its hands when Arizona tried to pass SB 1062, which would’ve let restaurants refuse to serve people based on sexual or religious preferences. The bill was vetoed at the last minute and the NFL didn’t have to look for other location options for Super Bowl XLIX.
Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald is happy about that. But not just because it keeps the Super Bowl in Arizona. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Saturday that he doesn’t believe laws like that “have any place in our society.”
“I didn’t think there was any chance it was going to go through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had a strong feeling it would’ve been vetoed. It’s good that it was, obviously. With the Super Bowl coming or any (event) like that, I think it just doesn’t have any place in our society. I’m happy that it’s behind us now.”
Had the law passed, the NFL was in a precipitous position. The Super Bowl would’ve been less than a year away, but Phoenix simply wasn’t an acceptable location with that law in place. Particularly while preparing to welcome Michael Sam, likely to be the first openly-gay player in NFL history, into the league.
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Call it what you want — anti-gay or religious rights — but if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs a controversial bill, you might not be calling Arizona the home of the 2015 Super Bowl.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, S.B. 1062, is the current controversy du jour out of Arizona, and the National Football League is with the opposition.
“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today. “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”
The Arizona Super Bowl Host committee released a statement saying it disagreed with the bill and its impact on Arizona’s economy.
“On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential,” a committee spokesperson said. “We do not support this legislation.”
Arizona is currently slated to host the 2015 Super Bowl at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium.
Opponents of the bill contend that it will allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to homosexual customers.
But, as with most bills in Congress, the attack ads have little to do with the actual legislation.
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Jonathan Martin spent nearly seven hours going into “great detail” with the NFL counsel investigating his claims of his harassment in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room. What came up in their talks, he isn’t saying for now.
He would say this: He still wants to play in the NFL.
Martin — in town because the league is trying to gather information about the bullying he says he was subjected to by teammate Richie Incognito — arrived at the Manhattan office building of special investigator Ted Wells on Friday morning, and didn’t emerge until shortly after sunset. Mobbed by media, he stood in the camera lights and read a statement.
“Although I went into great detail with Mr. Ted Wells and his team, I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly at this time,” Martin said. “This is the right way to handle the situation.
“Beyond that, I look forward to working through the process and resuming my career in the National Football League.”
After that, he and attorney David Cornwell went back into the building, later leaving via a side exit.
Incognito has acknowledged leaving a voicemail for Martin in April in which he used a racial slur, threatened to kill his teammate and threatened to slap Martin’s mother. Incognito has said he regrets the racist and profane language, but said it stemmed from a culture of locker-room “brotherhood,” not bullying.
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In recent weeks Redskins owner Dan Snyder has seemed to warm up to the idea of changing the Redskins name. So the report that a wealthy neighbor of his applied for a patent to lock down the name Washington Bravehearts is more than a little spicy.
According to TMZ, Aris Mardirossian, “a wealthy patent investor” who lives “a few doors down” from Dan Snyder, registered the name “WASHINGTON BRAVEHEARTS” on Oct. 17.
CBSSports.com has also learned Mardirossian registered the domain WashingtonBravehearts.com on October 18.
The patent license, per TMZ, is for “entertainment in the nature of football games.”
TMZ also obtained the LLC filings (.PDF) for Washington Brave Hearts, LLC.
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