Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa’s social media use has drawn criticism in the lead-up to the NFL draft.
Bosa, projected as one of the top three picks in the draft, has tweeted support for U.S. President Donald Trump and followed and liked conservative and right-wing accounts on social media.
In addition, Bosa called Colin Kaepernick a “clown” in a tweet, criticized Beyonce’s music, and called “Black Panther” the worst Marvel movie, raising eyebrows from skeptics.
One Twitter user outlined incidents in which Bosa liked Instagram posts from an account called “too_savage_for_democrats,” which included posts about funding for Trump’s border wall.
Bosa has since deleted many of his tweets and his social media posts became bland. He told ESPN’s Keith Van Valkenburg that he needed to before the draft because of where he could land.
“I had to,” Bosa said. “There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco.”
Still, some have been critical of Bosa remaining a top draft prospect.
USA Today’s Nancy Armour wrote that deleting the tweets was as much of a problem for Bosa:
“Our personal beliefs are just that, personal, and Bosa is entitled to his. But as a star athlete, he also has a platform. And with it comes a responsibility to be both authentic and informed, as well as an obligation to own his actions, decisions and, yes, his opinions.”
Bosa would be far from the first NFL player to support Trump or have right-leaning opinions.
ESPN’s draft guru Todd McShay told The New York Times’ Marc Tracy that Bosa’s social media and political beliefs won’t affect his draft stock.
“I can’t imagine a team sitting in a draft room — and I’ve asked teams — saying, ‘We’re going to pass on this guy because he’s left or right wing.’ … As long as it’s not something that from a character standpoint is something that is concerning or alarming, I don’t think politics will play into where a guy gets picked.”
Similarly, The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami wrote that locker rooms are tolerant of opposing political views, as long as players work hard and treat others well.
“I know a lot of players with very different political beliefs who bonded quite successfully when they were put together to win games … Generally, if the locker room believes you are genuine, you care for your teammates, you work hard, you help the team win and you’re not obnoxious, why wouldn’t you be embraced? Why wouldn’t Bosa be embraced if he plays well, works hard and isn’t obnoxious?”
Bosa figures to go within the top three picks on Thursday. His social media activity, both past, current, and future, figures to be monitored, no matters where he lands, however.