A somber Golden Tate on Friday apologized publicly for the on-field outburst that led to him being left off the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Washington Football Team.
Tate said he “just got caught up in the moment” when he twice screamed “throw me the ball” into the cameras during a Monday Night Football loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I was wrong to draw attention to myself. I take full responsibility for that. I handled it the wrong way and brought negative attention to our organization,” Tate said during a videoconference. “It was something that won’t happen again.”
The 32-year-old Tate has had a difficult season with only 22 receptions. He has also seen his playing time dwindle in recent weeks.
Tate’s public venting of frustrations came the night before the NFL trade deadline. He denied on Friday that his outburst had been en effort to force his way off the roster.
“I wouldn’t say I was trying to get traded,” Tate said. “I love this organization to be honest. I love everything it stands for and I want to do my part and help us win any way I can.”
After being told to stay home from practice the Wednesday after the Tampa Bay game, Tate worked with the Giants’ scout team the rest of the week and was then left behind when the team traveled to Maryland to face Washington.
“I was definitely disappointed, but there’s consequences for your actions and my actions were unacceptable and I apologized to the team, the GM, the coaches, the offense,” Tate said I’m excited to move forward … but I did have fun on scout team.”
Tate’s wife had also turned to social media to vent her frustrations with her husband’s limited role in the Giants’ offense.
“I wasn’t aware at the time that it happened that she had said anything, but in my wife’s defense she is and she will always be my biggest fan. I disagree with her taking it public, but I’ll always have her back and I know that she was in her mind protecting me and calling it how she saw it at the time,” Tate said.
“It’s unfortunate that we drew collectively this type of attention to our organization when we’re trying to win ball games.”
Tate is completing the second year of a four-year, $37.5 million contract. The Giants could save at least $6.147 million with $4.7 million in dead money by cutting Tate at year’s end.
Tate hopes they don’t.
“I plan to honor my contract the best I can. I want to be here. I love this organization, what it represents and the directions that we’re heading in. And hopefully I’m a part of it,” he said. “I believe … I believe in this organization and I believe in where they’re heading. I believe n the people that they’re bringing in to be a part of this. I’m thankful that I have an opportunity to be a part of it.”
Tate declined to address his knee injury or whether he would be physically ready to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.