Josh Allen takes responsibility for tweets sent as high schooler
Top draft prospect Josh Allen took responsibility for tweets he sent while he was in high school after they were made public Wednesday night, noting that their release put him "in a panic."
"If I could go back in time, I would never have done this in a heartbeat," Allen told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Thursday. "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."
Allen, who had been seen by many as a potential No. 1 overall pick, was selected seventh by the Buffalo Bills, who traded up to make the pick. Allen was the third quarterback drafted.
The tweets, sent in 2012 and 2013, no longer appear on his account. However, they contained racial slurs and other offensive language, according to Yahoo! Sports.
The former Wyoming quarterback acknowledged the tweets to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith late Wednesday night and apologized, saying he was young and dumb.
Allen told Smith that some of the tweets made reference to rap lyrics and television, including a saying that was part of an episode from the sitcom "Modern Family."
On ESPN's First Take on Thursday, NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that his sources indicated that Allen's Twitter account was vetted in January and that the offensive tweets were removed then.
Allen told Mortensen he thought he had gone through his Twitter account a year ago.
"I had even typed in keywords to see if anything I had tweeted popped up that I needed to clean up, but nothing like these came up or I just missed them," Allen said. "My agency went over any past social media, and these didn't come up after I did the search."
He said some of the messages might have been sent by friends, as they occasionally took each other's phones to send tweets.
Allen noted that the attention the tweets have garnered marred the run-up to the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.
"It sucks," Allen told Mortensen. "My family is hurting. We never envisioned a day or night like this."
A team with a top-five draft pick told Schefter that it knew nothing about the tweets and that it had "never heard anything but positives" about Allen.
Allen told ESPN's Suzy Kolber that he has been contacted by some teams about the tweet but that he doesn't expect it to impact his draft status.
"Hopefully they understand the type of person I am. .... I don't think this is going to hurt me," he said about an hour before the Browns made the first pick.
He also said that he hopes his future NFL teammates will understand what happened and how he has changed.
"That's my plan -- to show the type of person I am now," Allen told Mortensen. "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."
One of the NFL's most outspoken players, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, doesn't sound concerned about the Tweets. "He was a kid," Sherman told ESPN's Josina Anderson. "If you gave most of us a platform early in high school, I'm sure our immaturity would have shown as his did."
"It's unique in the sense he was (young) when he Tweeted it but it's still not acceptable at all," free agent linebacker Arthur Moats told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Moats is an eight-year veteran who played last season with Pittsburgh. "I think guys would definitely have a talk with him to make sure he knew not to say it anymore," he said. "The biggest thing is making sure he knows not to say it ever again."