Michael Sam NFL Draft Pick: Dolphins Player Tweets ‘Horrible,’ But Most Reaction Is Positive

When Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft, taken Saturday by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round with the 279th overall pick, reaction from current and former NFL players, as well as other celebrities, was overwhelmingly positive, mostly expressed on the social media platform Twitter.

But what goes on outside of the public spotlight could still be a different story. The one glimpse of negative response from another NFL player came from Don Jones, the Miami Dolphins 23-year-old second-year safety out of Arkansas State.

Though his Twitter comments were quickly removed, Jones’ response appeared to be a visceral reaction to ESPN video of Michael Sam hearing the news that he had been picked by the Rams — and kissing his boyfriend in celebration.

Jones first tweet was simply “omg,” an abbreviation of “oh, my God.”

When another Twitter poster asked him if he was referring to the Michael Sam televised kiss, Jones tweeted the one word, “horrible.”

Coming from a Miami Dolphins player, the negative tweets seemed especially disturbing in light of the bullying scandal involving Dolphins players harassing teammate Jonathan Martin and another player last season. Among the accusations were that a group of Dolphins players hurled anti-gay slurs at players targeted for bullying — though, in that case, neither of the players was believed to be gay.

Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey disavowed the Jones tweets and said that he planned to talk with the second-year player about his remarks.

“I was made aware of it and I was disappointed in those comments,” Hickey said Saturday. “That’s not what we stand for as an organization. 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. It’s a celebration. I think it’s a great thing for the league.”

Most other Twitter response to the Michael Sam pick from NFL players and other public figures was more positive.

Congrats to @MikeSamFootball and to every player drafted this year! To those who weren’t drafted…Your dream is still within reach!

— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 10, 2014

The White House issued a statement after the Michael Sam draft pick, congratulating Sam and saying, “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.”