49ers defensive end Nick Bosa addressed several of his controversial tweets on Friday after being selected with the second pick in the NFL draft, specifically clarifying a 2016 tweet in which he called former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick a "clown."
Bosa apologized for some of his comments and called his tweet criticizing Kaepernick “a bad decision," adding, "I respect what he's done."
“No, it wasn’t directed towards that,” Bosa said of Kaepernick's decision to protest during the national anthem. “It’s not like I’m saying his stance and what he was doing. That’s not what I was talking about at all. It was a specific thing that happened and me as a young kid, [with a] thought popping into my head and, boom, just decided to tweet it out. Bad decision. I respect what he’s done. If it empowers anybody, then he’s doing a good thing. I apologize for that.”
Bosa said he will “think a lot more” before posting on social media as he begins his professional career. The former Ohio State defensive end scrubbed his Twitter prior to the NFL draft, deleting several of his controversial comments, including his tweet about Kaepernick.
“I definitely made some insensitive decisions throughout my life, and I’m just excited to be here with a clean slate,” Bosa said Friday after getting drafted by San Francisco. “Sorry if I hurt anybody. I definitely didn’t intend for that to be the case. I think me being here is even better for me as a person because I don’t think there’s anywhere, any city, that you could really be in that would help you grow as much as this one will."
He added that living in a city as diverse as San Francisco will help him "grow" as a person.
“I’m going to be surrounded by all different kinds, so I’m going to grow as a person, and I’m going to be on my own," Bosa continued. "In college, you still have that support system around you. Now I’m here, I’m going to be on my own. I’m going to grow up and learn a lot of new things.”
At 6'4" and 266 pounds, Bosa finished his Ohio State career with 17.5 sacks in 26 games. A groin injury caused Bosa to miss the majority of the 2018 season for the Buckeyes, so he left Ohio State to rehab and prepare for the NFL draft this past fall.