Top-five draft prospect Nick Bosa said he has stopped tweeting political statements in support of the sitting President due to concerns that he’ll “end up in San Francisco.” But could the truth be that he’s far more concerned about whichever locker room he lands in, whether it be the 49ers or any other team?
It’s one thing to have digital footprints that support an intensely polarizing political figure. It’s quite another to have a history of comments and related activities that create questions regarding a potential racial bias.
Whether he has one or doesn’t isn’t the issue. The issue is whether reasonable minds may differ on whether he does — and whether that in turn will make it harder for him to be accepted by an NFL roster.
A Saturday tweet from Jemele Hill, who retweeted a link to an item from Robert Littal’s BlackSportsOnline.com, pulled this much closer analysis of Bosa’s decision to abandon political tweets into mainstream view.
“Nick Bosa is weak,” Hill wrote. “If you truly believe in what you stand for, you have no problem defending it. Bosa wasn’t just worried about how a city would receive him, he was worried about having to explain himself in the lockeroom. He wasn’t ready for that smoke.”
Again, this isn’t about whether Nick Bosa actually has any sort of racial bias. It’s about whether his strategy is less about avoiding problems in San Francisco and more about avoiding problems with future teammates.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen was able to overcome potential locker-room issues after being drafted by the Bills in 2018, based on much older tweets that could be more easily attributed to the younger-and-dumber version of himself. On the other end of the spectrum, former Eagles receiver Riley Cooper, who with the help of Mike Vick (they shared an agent at the time) overcame an ugly incident at a Kenny Chesney concert in Philly, never found footing elsewhere after being released by the Eagles at only 28 years of age. (More than a year later, Cooper got a look-see in Tampa, but wasn’t offered a contract.)
In the aftermath of Bosa’s declaration that he has stopped tweeting in support of the President due to concerns that he’ll be drafted by the 49ers, it was fair to wonder why he or any other pro athlete should have to keep that aspect of their lives secret. The issues raised by Hill and Littal make Bosa’s decision less confusing, if he indeed was thinking about how those comments could impact his not-too-distant NFL future, wherever it may play out.