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Julius Randle, under fire for telling Knicks fans to “shut the f—k up,” has issued an apology for expressing himself honestly.
“Just want to send a quick message to our fans and be clear,” reads the statement, posted Friday evening on Instagram. “I love NYC and being a part of this team and this franchise. And like most Knicks fans, I am really passionate about us being successful. ... My comment was an example of how sometimes you say things you regret to people you love, even if it came from a place of passion and deep love.”
Randle’s apology follows a heavy dose of criticism for flashing a thumbs-down to the Madison Square Garden crowd while leading a comeback during Thursday night’s game against the Celtics. Asked after the game what the thumbs-down meant, Randle explained it meant “shut the f—k up.”
Randle, understandably, has been annoyed by fans getting on his case for underwhelming play and lukewarm results. Fans, meanwhile, have been just as understandably annoyed by Randle’s performance. Fans have every right to boo an underperforming player or team. But can they then be surprised when that player or team gives it right back to them? And if Randle’s reaction was only human, then what he’s really being taken to task over is being honest about it.
“Nobody wants to win more than me,” Randle’s statement continued, “and I will continue to show loyalty and dedication to my teammates, the entire Knicks organization, and the fans who have shown me and my family so much love. I am going to keep focusing on the future. Thank you – Go Knicks”
As it happens, Knicks won the game Thursday night, 108-105.