Richard Sherman isn’t going to let new teammate Nick Bosa’s past comments affect him, but said there is a stipulation for bygones to be bygones.
Bosa, the 49ers’ top draft pick last month, recently came under fire for resurfaced tweets deemed insensitive by many. However, Sherman said all will be forgotten if Bosa can show why he was the No. 2 overall pick.
“One thing about football is that nobody really cares what you say if you can play,” Sherman told The Sacramento Bee Monday. “At the end of the day, I think a guy that has played with African Americans his whole life, not saying he can’t be racist, but they know how to maneuver around African Americans.”
Bosa once called former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick “a clown” for kneeling during the national anthem, has liked Instagram posts with homophobic and racist comments, and has been outspoken on his support for President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Sherman is one of the NFL’s more outspoken players when it comes to social justices and racial equality.
Recently, Bosa has scrubbed his social media accounts clean of any polarizing content and recently apologized for his “insensitive” posts, along with issuing an apology to Kaepernick.
“I definitely made some insensitive decisions throughout my life and I’m just excited to be here with a clean slate,” Bosa said at his introductory news conference last week. “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 you could really be in that would help you grow as much as this one will.
“I’m going to be surrounded by people, all different kinds, so I’m going to grow as a person and I’m going to be on my own. College, you have kind of like that support system around you. Now I’m here, I’m going to be on my own, I’m going to grow up, I’m going to learn a lot of new things.”
Sherman disagreed Ohio State — where Bosa played — had much to do with his racially insensitive comments, saying many African American players have come from that program. However, he said he’s willing to give Bosa a chance to rectify the past comments.
“When you’re at Ohio State, it’s not like Ohio State’s an all-white school. So I don’t think that’s going to ever be an issue,” Sherman said. “I think, at the end of the day, your beliefs are your beliefs … but when you’re in the building and you’re a football player and you’re a teammate, you handle yourself accordingly. And I think he understands that.
“It’s not like something where guys are like, ‘Hey man, what about what you said?’ No. No. If he can play, he can play. If he can’t play, he won’t be here,” Sherman added. “But at the end of the day, that’s all that matters in football. Is he getting sacks on Sunday? Is he helping our team? Is he being a good teammate? Those are things that matter.
“Now, if he’s a bad teammate, that’s something we’ll address.”