Julius Randle issues Instagram statement on thumbs-down gesture, comment

By , WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM

The latest edition of Thumbs Down-gate in NYC now has its instigator backtracking a little.

Julius Randle released a statement on his Instagram Friday evening, not quite apologizing but explaining his actions from Thursday night’s gesture and response, saying “my comment was an example of how sometimes you say things you regret to people you love” about the situation:

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“Just want to send a quick message to our fans and be clear - 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 family and I love how the fans and New Yorkers have embraced and accepted us and have made us feel great about our decision to commit long-term with the team this past summer. This support means the world to us.

I understand that my actions also represent the league, this organization, and the city, and that I should have handled things last night differently and expressed myself with more professionalism and more appropriate language in the heat of the moment. 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.

Nobody wants to win more than me 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.”

Randle came under fire for giving fans at MSG a thumbs down as they were booing a poor Knicks performance during what would end up as a buzzer-beating win, making the gesture after hitting a shot with less than six minutes left in the game.

Afterwards, he doubled down when asked what that meant by saying “shut the f—k up.”

Randle ended up with 22 points and eight boards in the 108-105 win, which saw RJ Barrett complete the amazing comeback with a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images