Nick Bosa apologizes for Kaepernick criticism, says he now ‘respects what he’s done’

Nick Bosa was previously a critic of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem, but now says he respects what Kaepernick did.

During his introductory press conference with the 49ers on Friday, the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft apologized for calling Kaepernick a “clown” in previous tweets.

“I definitely made some insensitive decisions throughout my life and I’m just excited to be here with a clean slate,” Bosa said. “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 any city that would help you grow as much as this one will.”

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When a reporter asked him if he “still felt the same way” about Kaepernick, who was a “black man giving a voice to people who don’t have a voice,” Bosa said he regrets his criticism.

“No, it wasn’t directed towards that, it’s not like I’m saying his stance and what he was doing [was bad], it’s not what I was talking about at all,” he said. “It was a specific thing that happened, and me as a young kid, a thought popping into my head and boom, decided to tweet it out. Bad decision.”

Bosa then said it’s a good thing if Kaepernick empowered anyone through his protests.

“I respect what he’s done, if it empowers anybody then he’s doing a good thing,” he said. “So yeah, I apologize for that.”

In past Twitter activity, Bosa has liked and retweeted several tweets critical of Kaepernick and other players who protested during the national anthem, and wrote, “Taking a knee on 911… shame” after players knelt during the national anthem of NFL games played on September 11, 2016.

MORE BOSA: Watch the emotional moment Nick Bosa learned he was going to the 49ers

The pass rusher said it’s “ironic” he landed in the very liberal Bay Area when it was all said and done, and doesn’t think his past tweets will be an issue with teammates.

“It is kind of ironic,” he said. “I think once I get in and I meet the guys, and I meet the guys and they learn who I am, I don’t think there’s going to need any explaining. I think they’re going to see who I am as a person and that will be enough.”

You can watch Bosa’s full introductory press conference in the video above.

Eric Ting is an SFGATE staff writer. Email him at and follow him on Twitter

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