When Michael Sam celebrated his selection in the NFL draft by kissing his boyfriend on national television, Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones wasn’t pleased, tweeting “OMG” and “Horrible.”
He quickly deleted the tweets and apologized, but the brief comments earned Jones an undisclosed fine and a suspension from the team’s activities until “he undergoes and completes education training.”
In the moments after George Zimmerman’s acquittal, wide receivers Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcon and Victor Cruz of the New York Giants expressed hope that the jurors and Zimmerman, respectively, would die.
“All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid,” White tweeted. “Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up with him,” Cruz said in turn.
In the coming months, and likely years, the NFL will be faced with incidents similar to Jones’s reaction to Sam, especially as other gay players may enter the league. The appropriate response to Jones’s tweets was up to the Dolphins’ judgment, but it seems that NFL teams have a selective attitude toward what potentially offensive messages deserve punishment.