Sorry, Newt Gingrich, the Dolphins Suspending Don Jones for His Dumb Tweets Was Not "Repression"
Over the weekend, the Miami Dolphins swiftly fined and temporarily suspended defensive back Donald Jones after he tweeted that seeing Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend was "horrible." If we're being cynical, it was basically a giant corporation that wants nothing more than to avoid off-the-field controversy administering what amounts to a slap on the wrist in a PR move designed to quash any controversy before it begins.
In the mind of Newt Gingrich, of all people, this was "repression." Fox Sports' Clay Davis wrote a meandering, paranoid column about the internet thought police. A Cincinnati Enquirer columnist used the Jones tweet to lament his perception that we tolerate everything nowadays except people's intolerance. In other words, it pissed off a lot of straight guys.
In short, "OMG," these arguments are "HORRIBLE," but we have more than 140 characters to break it down.
Jones was punished more for being stupid than he was for being homophobic.
The truth is that if Jones had made those comments privately to someone in the Dolphins administration, he probably wouldn't have been publicly reprimanded. There might have been some repercussions, but Jones' very public Twitter comments necessitated a very public rebuke.
As pretty much everyone remembers, the Dolphins are still feeling the fallout of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal, the biggest of its kind in sports history. That involved a lot of homophobic and un-PC remarks. It has often been brought up as an example of why the NFL might not be ready for a gay player.
The Dolphins desperately want to put that all behind them and to show they really are committed to fostering a more tolerant workplace. Jones' very public tweets forced the Dolphins' hand.
Plus, the exact nature of his punishment hasn't been made public, but does anyone think it will amount to much more than a four-figure fine and a long afternoon in the HR wing of Dolphins HQ? Come on. This was all PR damage control.