Golden Tate has been the topic of a lot of heated debate the past two days, and while he joked that he enjoys that all of this attention has helped boost his Twitter following — “I’m kind of becoming a big deal here” — he admitted some of the backlash has been a bit tough.
“It’s had its pros and its cons,” he said. “I’ve had people support me, the 12th man especially, and some people who had some nasty things to say. I can’t control what other people say, do, Tweet, Facebook, whatever.
“Some nasty stuff. It’s mean … I’ve been called a cheater, I don’t have any dignity, I’m not a Christian, a lot of hurtful things. I just pray on it and continue to live my life.”
Like the rest of his team, however, Tate said the key is to put Monday’s game behind him and focus on Sunday’s opponent, the St. Louis Rams.
“I can worry about what I do,” Tate said. “What I don’t want to happen is for me to get caught up worrying about what other people think and what happened in the past, then this Sunday play awful and don’t give my team the best team to win. I’m just trying to move forward. I know I have the support of the organization, of the coaches and the players, and that’s all that really matters right now, because at the end of the day, those are the guys who are on the field playing with me.”
“There have been moments when it’s been tough, but when you have family in this locker room and in this building, that makes it a little easier. It hasn’t been too bad. My feelings have been hurt a little bit on Twitter, but it’s whatever.”
When asked about the play immediately after the game, Tate said he didn’t “know what you’re talking about” to the reporter who asked him if he pushed a defender before the catch. In a statement released Tuesday, the NFL said it supported the ruling of a catch, but did note that Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference. After seeing a replay, Tate said he did push off, though he didn’t realize it at the time, hence his postgame comment.
“As far as pushing the defender, I was caught up in the moment, playing football,” he said. “At that point it was just like backyard football, find a way to get the ball. I didn’t intentionally try to shove him to the ground … It happened so quick, I really don’t know what happened.
“I’m not going to deny pushing him. The evidence shows on the film. I never had intentions on cheating; I wasn’t trying to cheat. I was competing, I was in the moment, things were happening so quick I didn’t even notice I did it. I didn’t try to hurt him or push him down to the ground, but it happened. It was so quick, it was just a reaction kind of thing.”
Tate, who made headlines a week earlier for his crushing block on Dallas linebacker Sean Lee, which led to a fine, was asked what he was going to do to follow up his memorable two-game stretch: “To top it this week, I don’t know, maybe throwing a touchdown pass or kicking a field goal or punting. Maybe even a fake punt. We’ll see.
“I’m ready to play and hopefully get the last two weeks out of people’s minds and do something special that’s going to cause good attention.”