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Nick Bosa, a first season defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers, is in the hot seat after he was called out for following an Instagram meme account that’s been joking about the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
Twitter user @RsztProgramming posted a tweet calling Bosa out Saturday morning, along with receipts.
“#SuperBowlLIV contender Nick Bosa follows a private Instagram account that jokes about Kobe Bryant’s death,” the account wrote.
In the meme posted by the account, @angry_vet_, a grim reaper is seen using a claw machine to pick up a toy-sized man with the claw.
Text on the meme reads:
“Kobe Bryant? Is there even a Betty White in this?”
Follow-up tweets note that the account in question also liked replies that mocked Bryant and his fans and that Bosa had been following it since before he was drafted into the NFL from Ohio State in 2019.
And these... pic.twitter.com/GidjGRcaCL— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) February 1, 2020
After RzstProgramming first drew attention to it, the Instagram account was made public.
The account is no longer private. The whole world can view one of the formally private IG accounts that Nick Bosa follows until it’s owner, John, decides to close it off again.— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) February 1, 2020
Link to the Kobe post: https://t.co/k2s6TjQCLJ
The Daily Dot can confirm that the account posted the grim reaper meme about Bryant’s death and is followed by Bosa. The meme has since been deleted from the account.
Some Bosa defenders expressed annoyance that he was being called out for simply following an account that was posting offensive content.
“I mean, is Bosa supposed to know every single thing the people he follows post? Yeah that account is trash but I don’t know how Bosa judged for just following,” Twitter user @TheMMQBL wrote.
...I mean, is Bosa supposed to know every single thing the people he follows post? Yeah that account is trash but I don't know how Bosa judged for just following. https://t.co/cYe96GzLS5— THE Monday Morning QuarterBLACK (@TheMMQBL) February 1, 2020
And Twitter user @RustiJockstrap complained that “y’all so sensitive that even who people follow bothers y’all.”
Cancel culture doesn’t exist if no one actually gets cancelled lol.— Cody Jeter (@Freeze92) February 1, 2020
I feel bad for people who actually care about this.— IOnlyMadeThis4Soccer (@i_this4) February 1, 2020
i think bosa is a clown but this feels like a reach.— mansur (@mansurshaheen) February 1, 2020
However, this is not an isolated incident for the up-and-coming NFL star.
Though it’s unclear at this time if Bosa has engaged with the account in any way, he’s previously drawn negative attention for repeatedly interacting with racist and homophobic social media accounts.
A few days before the NFL draft last April, RzstProgramming shared a staggering number of screenshots showing Bosa “liking” posts that used the N-word, joked about rape, and were blatantly homophobic.
Bosa himself admitted that his agents went through his Twitter account and deleted all his own potentially problematic tweets in anticipation of the draft.
“I had to,” he said. “There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco.”
These previous incidents, and Bosa’s apparent disinterest in accepting any accountability for his choices, are why so many are frustrated–though not surprised–to see that Bosa appears to still be entertaining the same garbage content and opinions as he was when he was in college.
“Nick Bosa continues to show exactly who he is,” Atlantic writer Jemele Hill tweeted.
Y’all remember when Nick Bosa deleted all his Trump & hate rhetoric material from social media NOT because he felt remorseful or wanted to educate himself on the ignorance his platform exuded, but INSTEAD because he thought he’d get drafted to SF & didn’t want to risk HIS wallet?— jeff bezosdiazepine 🌹 (@esfahansolo) February 1, 2020
And a homophobic— IrfanChaudhary (@IrfanCh71029714) February 1, 2020
Wow dude if you roll through some of these good luck being a Nick Bosa fan 😂 jesus christ what a garbage person https://t.co/19tRiQp9rr— Ethan Raponi (@PoneMalost) February 1, 2020
It gives you insight into who he is. Add the MAGA hat and that about covers it. Phuck him and TB12.— Michael Gardner (@mgardner_) February 1, 2020
Nick Boss continues to be a douche bag. I'm just waiting for one of his black teammates to whoop his ass one day for saying the n-word accidentally https://t.co/psLmvsJ44t— artist formally known as bamabelle (@blkumathurman) February 1, 2020
Read this thread. Nick Bosa is a piece of shit and I hope he loses by 59 and gets his shit rocked. https://t.co/jYgoHvyxl7— Branden Gilbert 🌹 (@Branden_Gilbert) February 1, 2020
Rachel Kiley is a writer who sometimes writes things and sometimes is based in L.A., but is definitely always on Twitter @rachelkiley.