Trump Tweets Support for NFL Player With History of Racist Tweets

His tweet ignored the #1 NFL draft pick, who is black.

Oliver Contreras/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

In a Saturday morning tweet, President Trump offered congratulations to Nick Bosa, the Ohio State defensive end who this week became the second overall pick in the NFL draft, after facing criticism for past racist tweets and supporting social media posts with racist and homophobic hashtags. The first player picked in the draft, Oklahoma quarterback Kyle Murray, who is black, received no mention on Trump’s Twitter feed. 

Bosa is white and will join the San Francisco 49ers. In recent days, the San Francisco Chronicle, news outlets, and Twitter users have dug up his social media history. The website Black Sports Online posted threads showing Bosa following and liking posts from accounts that repeatedly used the n-word and poked fun at tennis player Venus Williams. Others noted Bosa’s recently deleted tweets where he criticized Beyonce’s music, the Black Panther movie, and Colin Kaepernick—the former 49ers quarterback who launched a racial justice protest movement with his decision to kneel rather than stand during the national anthem at football games—who Bosa called a “clown,” and also retweeted a tweet referring to him as “crappernick.” Bosa has also deleted his tweets expressing support for the president.

Trump’s tweet in support of Bosa is notable given the president’s long history of criticizing Kaepernick. Trump often blasted the quarterback’s decision to kneel during the anthem while campaigning, and has continued to do so since arriving at the White House. He made fun of Kaepernick during a 2017 rally in Kentucky, criticized Nike for making the quarterback the face of a 2018 ad campaign, and pressured NFL team owners to change league rules to outlaw protests like Kaepernick’s. 

Both the general manager and head coach of the 49ers were asked about Bosa’s social media history at a news conference this week, and sought to play down the controversy. On Friday, Bosa apologized for his social media posts and to Kaepernick for calling him a clown, saying it was a “bad decision.” When asked about the tweets in an interview with ESPN before the draft, Bosa said he deleted the tweets because “I might end up in San Francisco.” 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate