When you’re a quarterback selected with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft, you can expect some digging into your past. You’re the face of a billion dollar franchise and the hopes of millions of fans now rest on your shoulders.
What you probably don’t expect is to face backlash over tweets you’ve interacted with in the months and years before you were drafted.
That’s where New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson finds himself today.
The first round selection is under fire for “liking” tweets in support of former President Trump, opposing kneeling in sports, and wishing people would stop “thrusting their beliefs on others.”
The backlash first started when Twitter user “@RzstProgramming” noted Wilson’s apparent support of a pro-Trump tweet. Soon, the post had gone viral.
“New York Jets draft pick Zach Wilson liked a pro-Trump tweet saying ‘America is gone forever’ if Trump loses in 2020,” read the first tweet in a lengthy thread.
“Your last defender …Vote for Donald Trump like your life depends on it.”
New York Jets draft pick Zach Wilson liked a pro-Trump tweet saying “America is gone forever” if Trump loses 2020.
Zach Wilson is MAGA. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/R346it25Nf
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) April 30, 2021
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In a sick twist, the Twitter account also went after Wilson’s mother because she follows the accounts of several prominent conservatives and Republican legislators, including Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), former First Lady Melania Trump, The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens, and others.
This comes at no surprise. Zach Wilson’s mom, Lisa, follows far right QAnon Marjorie Taylor Green, Madison Hawthorne, Melania, and a slew of accounts that serve bigoted and racist content for conservative consumption. pic.twitter.com/hrcFcHJl1c
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) May 1, 2021
This isn’t the first time an NFL player has come under fire for their apparent support of conservative politicians and causes. In 2019, Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa faced mass backlash for his social media history, particularly his support of conservative accounts.
Bosa scrubbed his Twitter account prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, deleting a post criticizing Colin Kaepernick as well as a quote tweet of a picture of Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan with the caption, “Goats.”
Mac Jones, selected No. 15 overall out of the University of Alabama in the 2021 draft, also came under fire for a 2012 photo which appeared to depict the quarterback (who was 14 years old at the time) in a “NOBAMA” costume, with a mask depicting former President Obama.
Jones was projected to go as high as No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers, but was scooped up midway through the first round by the New England Patriots as the next quarterback of the legendary franchise.
Wilson is a native of Draper, Utah, and played for three years at BYU. Last season, he completed 247 passes on 336 attempts for 3692 yards with 33 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The Jets were reportedly enamored with the BYU quarterback after seeing his pro day. He’ll be expected to revive the franchise which hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1969.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.