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Nick Bosa apologizes for calling Kaepernick a ‘clown’ in old tweet



© Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the public support for the 49ers to draft Nick Bosa dissipated when ESPN published a story, earlier this month, that highlighted Bosa’s conservative views. The story cited that Bosa has deleted tweets, from more than two-and-a-half years ago, supporting Donald Trump, criticizing “Black Panther,” and disagreeing with Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem as a response to police brutality and racial injustice.

Why did he delete the tweets?

“I had to,” he told ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg. “There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco.”

That prospect has now come to fruition. On Thursday evening, the 49ers selected Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Widely considered the top prospect in this draft, Bosa will supplement an already improving defensive line, adding another dangerous pass rusher opposite Dee Ford.

Yet the topic many want to continue discussing is Bosa’s views and those deleted tweets.

Bosa was introduced as a member of the 49ers Friday. For about four straight minutes during his press conference, he answered questions about the tweets, whether he realizes that people have taken offense to them, what he has learned, and how he will change moving forward.

“I definitely made some insensitive decisions throughout my life,” Bosa said. “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, but I think me being here is even better for me as a person because I don’t think there’s anywhere, any city, that would help you grow as much as this one will. I am going to be surrounded by people of all different kinds, so I am going to grow as a person.”

In the ESPN story, Bosa seemed to think deleting the tweets would avoid confrontation in the liberal Bay Area. Now, he appears to view his placement in the region as a positive, as it will expose him to a breadth of different people and ideals.

Bosa, who previously called Kaepernick a “clown,” was asked to clarify his comments.

“It wasn’t directed toward that. It’s not like I am saying his stance and what he is doing, that’s not what I was calling or talking about at all,” Bosa said. “It was just a specific thing that happened. Me as a young kid, a thought popping in my head and boom, deciding to tweet it out — bad decision. I respect what he has done. If it empowers anybody, then he is doing a good thing. I apologize for that.”

When he was asked whether he thinks it’s ironic that he’s joining the team of the player he once criticized, he sheepishly agreed.

Bosa, who has been commended as a terrific teammate, is confident that he will establish close relationships with his new teammates and coaches once they see the real him.

“They will see who I am as a person,” Bosa said, “and that will be enough.”