Stevie Johnson tried to make a joke on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, when he asked North Korea to bomb Foxborough, Mass., home of the New England Patriots.
Johnson encountered immediate backlash for the tweet. On Monday, also known as Patriots Day, his tweet became even more controversial. Two explosions at the Boston Marathon killed three bystanders and wounded around 180 people.
Johnson was no-nonsense when asked for his reaction to the Boston Marathon explosions.
“It’s ironic, nothing to be played with at all,” Johnson said Wednesday at One Bills Drive. “I mean, that’s pretty much it. There’s really nothing to be played with, at the end of the day, with seeing what happened. I feel like how everybody else in America feels.
“No Twitter, no games, no jokes, none of that. But at the end of the day, I feel just how everybody else felt when they see those bombs go off.”
As of Wednesday evening, Johnson’s notorious Foxborough remark had been retweeted nearly 4,500 times and favorited nearly 1,800 times.
Johnson defended his tweet as a joke, and it remains on his Twitter feed.
Johnson hasn’t tweeted for two days. His most recent message is a retweet from his agent, CJ LaBoy, on Monday.
“The only gut reaction was hearing people was injured and people died,” Johnson said. “The only thing about Twitter was how ironic it is. That’s a tough one. That’s a tough one to deal with.”
Johnson has been controversial on Twitter before. After an overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, Johnson seemed to blame God for his dropping what should have been the winning touchdown.
Johnson sat out the second day of voluntary workouts after straining his back before Tuesday’s opening session under new coach Doug Marrone.
“It’s kind of wild,” Johnson said. “It came out of a cut during warm-ups, just a little tweak.”
Johnson called the injury “nothing too serious, just day-to-day.” He will have treatment this morning and then determine if he’ll participate in the final voluntary workout until organized team activities begin May 13.
“It’s very disappointing to the point where I’m out here, watching the guys have fun running around like this,” Johnson said. “But not too much because [the injury] is not too serious like my groin was” last season.
Johnson also said he’s unconcerned about picking up offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s system because “this is probably my fifth offense I’ve had to learn. It’s nothing too tough for me. I’ve done it before. I’m not really worried about that part. We’ll get it all down.”
He remarked that he’s excited about the tempo of practices, calling them “intense” already.
Byron Mulkey is keeping his eggs in a couple of different baskets, as he says.
The 24-year-old former Niagara-Wheatfield and University at Buffalo basketball star has not stopped chasing his dream of playing cornerback in the NFL, but has also kept his sights set on what he’ll do if that doesn’t come to fruition.
Mulkey, who is participating on a tryout basis this week at the Bills’ voluntary minicamp, relocated last summer to Atlanta.
There, he’s on the job hunt, looking for something in the field of athletic administration. He’s also working out on his own, and working as an academic mentor at Georgia State. Mulkey earned a master’s degree from UB in higher education.
“It’s been a lot,” he said Wednesday after practice. “The area’s great, though, and having family down there [a brother], it’s a lot of help with the transition. Whatever comes my way, I’m just trying to stay ready for whatever happens.”
Mulkey, who’s listed at 5-foot-11, 186 pounds, participated last year in the Bills’ rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. While he got positive feedback, he wasn’t offered a contract.
“They liked the effort. They saw some things that they could develop, and they relayed that to me,” he said. “But it’s a business, and it’s a numbers game. They told me to stay in shape and if something happens we’ll give you a call. That’s what I did. They called me probably about a month back and invited me for another tryout here at this camp. ...
“I’m extremely fortunate to get another chance to get back out here. We’ll see what happens.”
At 24, Mulkey knows he won’t have too many more of these opportunities.
“The window continues to get smaller and smaller as time goes on, so while I still can do it, I’m trying to give it a shot,” he said. “I’m doing all I can as far as giving the effort, so I can hopefully have a full-time job by the time I leave here in the next couple weeks.”