Ex-Lion Golden Tate apologizes for outburst: 'It won't happen again'
East Rutherford, N.J. — Subdued, contrite and sounding ready to take responsibility for his actions, former Lions receiver Golden Tate apologized Friday for an outburst that caused Giants coach Joe Judge to leave him home before last week’s game at Washington.
Tate said he “just got caught up in the moment” when he twice screamed “throw me the ball” into cameras during a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 2.
Judge and Tate had a lengthy conversation earlier this week in hopes of moving on. It’s unclear whether Tate will play Sunday against Philadelphia. He injured a knee late in practice Thursday and was listed as questionable Friday.
“If you know me and you know my game, I play with a lot of emotion, a lot of passion and I just got caught up in the moment,” Tate said. “I was wrong to draw attention to myself. I take full responsibility for that. I handled it the wrong way, and again, brought negative attention to our organization. It was something that won’t happen again.”
Tate’s wife, Elise, added to the stir the following day by complaining on social media that her husband was being underutilized despite being open. Tate said he was unaware at the time she was making those comments.
“In my wife’s defense, she is and will always be my biggest fan,” he said. “I disagree with her taking it public, but … I will always have her back. I know that she was, in her mind, protecting me, and she was calling it how she saw it without having spoken to me or understood what had happened prior to that.
“It’s unfortunate that we drew collectively this type of attention to our organization when we’re trying to win ballgames. For that, I felt the need to apologize to this entire organization for drawing that negative attention, for one, and also my body language on the field. From here on, we don’t ever have to worry about that ever again.”
The 32-year-old Tate is in the second year of a four-year, $37.5 million deal with the Giants, his fourth team in the last eight years. He has been targeted 29 times this season, catching 22 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. Team leader Darius Slayton has been targeted 56 times.
Tate said he plans to “honor my contract the best I possibly can.”
“I want to be here. I love this organization, what it represents, and the direction we’re headed in,” he said. “Hopefully I’m a part of it.”