Nick Bosa, a defensive lineman who was selected No. 2 overall in Thursday's NFL draft, said he regretted insulting tweets he directed toward former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, according to ESPN.
Bosa was selected by the 49ers, and in the lead up to the draft that possibility had led the player to delete some Trump-supporting and anti-Kaepernick posts to try to avoid controversy. He had previously called Kaepernick a "clown" for his national anthem protests.
"It wasn't directed towards (Kaepernick's stance)," Bosa said according to ESPN. "It's not like I'm saying his stance and what he was doing, that's not what I was calling or talking about at all. It was just a specific thing that happened and me as a young kid a thought popping in my head and boom, decided to tweet it out. Bad decision. I respect what he's done. If it empowers anybody then he's doing a good thing. So, I apologize for that."
It's common for athletes in the current environment to scrub their social media accounts of controversial posts before the draft, but Bosa's deleted tweets and apology are notable because his motivation is to essentially apologize for his conservative views simply because he is going to be playing in a liberal city.
He began deleting conservative or anti-Kaepernick tweets weeks before the draft simply due to the possibility that he might get drafted by the 49ers. Now he says he hopes to grow in San Francisco and take advantage of a clean slate.
"I definitely made some insensitive decisions throughout my life and I'm just excited to be here with a clean slate," Bosa said. "I'm sorry if I hurt anybody. I definitely didn't intend for that to be the case but I think me being here is even better for me as a person because I don't think there's any city that you could really be in that would help you grow as much as this one will.