The Josh Allen image reclamation tour is in full gear, hours before the start of the 2018 NFL Draft.
After tweets from his account when he was in high school emerged late last night, Allen’s trying to convince the teams he’s hoping will draft him that he’s not the same person that sent the messages with racially insensitive language.
“If I could go back in time, I would never have done this in a heartbeat,” Allen told Chris Mortensen of ESPN. “At the time, I obviously didn’t know how harmful it was and now has become.
“I hope you know and others know I’m not the type of person I was at 14 and 15 that I tweeted so recklessly. . . . I don’t want that to be the impression of who I am, because that is not me. I apologize for what I did.”
The tweets, which were posted in 2012 and 2013, have since been deleted. He told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith early this morning that the tweets were references to rap lyrics and television shows.
Allen told Mortensen he thought he had gotten all the offensive messages out of his account a year ago, but he obviously missed a few. He also said some could have been written by friends in high school, as they’d often swipe each other’s phones and send messages. (It’s the high school version of “I was hacked.”)
“It sucks. My family is hurting. We never envisioned a day or night like this,” he said. “That’s my plan — to show the type of person I am now. Whatever team picks me, they are going to get that from me. I will set the record straight for any team, any teammate, the media, and I think once they meet me and they’re around me, see how I act and how I think, that it’s not going to be a problem at all.”
He will likely have new teammates in a few hours who will be interested in hearing his explanation. Other quarterbacks have survived similar incidents. Then-Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins was punched by a teammate and distrusted by many others after getting drunk and using a racial epithet. He was eventually released and bounced around the league, but rebounded to take the Giants to the Super Bowl and enjoy a long career in the league.