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The attack on the Boston Marathon has brought back into focus a tweet made by Stevie Johnson earlier this month in which he asked North Korea to bomb Foxborough, Mass., the home city of the New England Patriots.
On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills receiver called his tweet "ironic" after the tragedy in Boston and said he feels like the rest of America about the incident, when asked about it by the Buffalo News.
Three people died and more than 170 were wounded Monday when two bombs went off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. No arrests have been made in the investigation.
"It's ironic, nothing to be played with at all," Johnson told the newspaper. "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."
On April 3, Johnson tweeted: "War is nothing to be played with. I apologize North Korea........but if y'all do bomb 1st... Bomb Foxboro, Mass. Sincerely,#BillsMafia."
He has not deleted the tweet, which has since been retweeted more than 4,400 times and favorited more than 1,700 times as of Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, Johnson defended the tweet as a joke, as he also did in responses to his Twitter followers immediately after posting the message.
"The only gut reaction was hearing people was injured and people died," Johnson told the Buffalo News. "The only thing about Twitter was how ironic it is. That's a tough one. That's a tough one to deal with."