Prior to the 2019 NFL draft, Nick Bosa deleted tweets that were critical of Colin Kaepernick, Beyonce and the movie “Black Panther”, and supportive of President Donald Trump because he “might end up in San Francisco.”
That’s exactly what wound up happening on Thursday, when Bosa was taken second overall by the San Francisco 49ers. That means he will be living in one of the more liberal areas of the country.
When asked about the past social media posts during his introductory news conference on Friday, Bosa apologized for tweeting in the summer of 2016 that Kaepernick was a “clown.”
“Me as a young kid, thought something in my head and decided to tweet it out,” Bosa said. “Bad decision. I respect what he’s done. If it empowers anybody, then he’s done a good thing. I apologize for it.”
— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) April 26, 2019
Kaepernick, who in 2016 began kneeling during the national anthem to protest treatment of minorities, hasn’t been on an NFL team since parting with the 49ers following that season.
Bosa added that he hopes to grow as a person, and that being in San Francisco will help him do so.
Asked about his social media history, Nick Bosa said he’s eager to grow as a person. “I don’t think there’s any city that can help you grow like this one,” he says of San Francisco.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) April 26, 2019
He appeared to take a remorseful tone toward his past social media activity throughout the news conference.
Nick Bosa: “I definitely made some insensitive decisions throughout my life. And I’m just excited to be here with a clean slate. I’m sorry if I hurt anybody. I definitely didn’t intend for that to be the case.” #49ers
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) April 26, 2019
Among the decisions Bosa made was “liking” an Instagram post by a friend in 2014 that included racist and homophobic hashtags. He claimed on Thursday that he did not see the hashtags.
49ers still took him
Nevertheless, regardless of his past history, the 49ers could not pass on Bosa, arguably the top prospect in the draft. And while a number of fans might not agree with his political views, the team is banking on his production on the field winning them over and that he will live up to his words.
Nick Bosa on his calm demeanor: "I'm definitely monotone and quiet, but when I get out on the field I'll take some of that aggression out." #49ers
— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) April 26, 2019
Bosa’s selection and the backlash surrounding it has set off political debates, with conservative pundits such as Tomi Lahren and Britt McHenry chiming in. It is a tricky situation for the 21-year-old, but at least he has the presence of mind to be forthright about his past behavior and make a good first impression on his new team and fan base.
More from Yahoo Sports: