By Will Brinson
(CBS SPORTS) – The sad reality of 2018 is that people will dig up your social media history and use it to paint a negative picture about your personality if you don’t take the time to scrub your old tweets and other posts. Former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, who is very much in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick, found out the hard way.
Yahoo! Sports reported on Wednesday night that Allen had a slew of old tweets where he used racially inappropriate language as well as other offensive language.
Allen, who is white, used racially insensitive language multiple times in tweets that have since been deleted.
The quarterback spoke to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN overnight on Wednesday and apparently apologized for the tweets in question.
The tweets in question for Allen came primarily from 2012 and 2013, when he was in high school. And while they contain racially inappropriate language, they do not appear to be racist in nature, per se.
Here’s a wild theory from ESPN’s Adam Schefter: the tweets may have been leaked by another team in order to try and allow Allen to fall down the board.
That would be some next-level subterfuge on draft day, but it should not be viewed as a coincidence that these tweets emerged right before the draft. No one in the media is squatting on these tweets until the day before the draft — there has also been a serious amount of coverage given to these tweets, which tells you that it might be working the way people hoped.
The reality of the situation is that, in 2018, someone needs to be reading back through old tweets and deleting anything offensive.
Allen is one of 20-plus prospects attending the 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas; it’s widely believed he will end up being a top-10 selection. CBS Sports Pete Prisco has repeated multiple times that he is all in on Allen as his top quarterback in this draft, noting on the Pick Six Podcast (subscribe here for a daily dose of NFL talk) that he believes Allen has gotten an unfair rap based on his completion percentage.
Off the field, Allen doesn’t have issues. As Adam Schefter of ESPN reported in the SAS apology piece, teams only say good things about the former Wyoming quarterback. He’s believed to have a chip on his shoulder after not being offered scholarships and ending up taking a circuitous route to Wyoming.
If he falls because of old tweets — or his completion percentage — don’t be surprised if he develops another chip. At the very least, he’s going to serve as a valuable lesson for the rest of the draft prospects out there. Anything you say on the Internet is going to be archived forever and you’d better think long and hard about scrubbing your past.