FILE - In this May 3, 2013, file photo, Miami Dolphins' Don Jones runs during NFL football rookie minicamp in Davie, Fla. A negative one-word tweet from Jones about the drafting of Michael Sam drew a rebuke from the team. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
Updated: May 13, 2014 10:03AM
MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins fined second-year defensive back Don Jones an undisclosed amount and excused him from the team after
he made critical remarks toward Michael Sam, who Saturday became the first openly gay athlete drafted by an NFL team.
Jones took to Twitter soon after Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round, tweeting ‘‘OMG’’ and ‘‘horrible.’’ He later deleted the tweets.
Jones met with Dolphins brass Sunday about his comments before the team ruled on his punishment. He must undergo educational training before he can return to the team.
Jones apologized to Sam in his first public comments about the situation.
‘‘I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made [Saturday] 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. I wish him all the best in his NFL career.
‘‘I sincerely apologize to [Dolphins owner] Mr. [Stephen] 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.’’
The Dolphins drafted Jones in the seventh round in 2013. He was one of their top special-teams players and finished with 10 tackles.