RENTON, Wash. – Golden Tate was asked if he could repeat some of what was directed toward him on social media after his disputed touchdown catch that lifted Seattle past Green Bay.
“If I mentioned those words it would be bleeps, bleeps, bleeps,” Tate said Wednesday. “Some nasty stuff. It’s mean.”
Tate earned himself the odd position of being viewed as a villain when he pulled in a 24-yard touchdown reception that gave Seattle a 14-12 victory over the Packers on Monday night.
The catch set off a storm of criticism and debate that has gone beyond the replacement official who awarded Tate the winning TD instead of giving an interception to Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings.
The call became a rallying point for players, coaches and fans frustrated with three weeks of replacement officials working regular-season games. Every football pundit in the country has given a take on the final play. Even President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney have expressed their views on Tate’s TD and the replacement officials.
Stuck in the middle was the 5-foot-10, third-year wide receiver out of Notre Dame, whose only crime was getting away with a blatant offensive pass interference shove on Green Bay’s Sam Shields, and then jumping with four other Packers to try and make a play on the final heave of the game.
Tate said Wednesday that he fully acknowledges getting away with the penalty on Shields, but the suggestion that he was trying to cheat is unfounded.
“I can’t control what other people say or do. I personally felt like I had the ball at that time and looking back just off of what I remember I felt like I had the ball in my hands,” Tate said. “We both competed for the ball and the call ended up going our way and won the game.”
This is the second straight week Tate has found himself the center of attention after an on-field incident. Last week it was a crushing block on Dallas linebacker Sean Lee.
The criticism and debate that came with Tate’s block on Lee seems tame compared to the vitriol being thrown toward him for the disputed touchdown.
“I definitely believe everyone knows who Golden Tate is now,” Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said.