Golden Tate responds to rumors, denies affair with Russell Wilson’s wife

Jan 16, 2015, 3:45 PM | Updated: 6:37 pm

Golden Tate strongly denied rumors he had an affair with Russell Wilson's wife and tackled a number of others in a frank essay published this week. (AP photo)

(AP photo)

Former Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate has been besieged by rumors of bad behavior including an affair with Russell Wilson’s wife since he left Seattle. But as the Seahawks prepare for the NFC Championship, Tate is speaking out to set the record straight.

Tate tackled the rumors and reasons for his departure for Detroit head-on in a frank essay published by The Cauldron Thursday. He says he’s been harassed on social media, calling it “profoundly disappointing” and tarnished his reputation.

“I did not have an affair with Russell Wilson’s wife, nor did I have anything to do with his divorce,” Tate wrote (his emphasis). “That is laughable for anyone who knows us. His ex-wife, Ashton, is still best friends with my girlfriend. Russell and I were good friends when I was in Seattle, on and off the field-he knows the rumors about me were unfounded, damaging to my reputation, and an attack on my character. Anyone who circulated that rumor was just plain irresponsible.”

Wilson announced his divorce from his wife Ashton in a statement released by the Seahawks last April, but has not spoken about it since.

Tate also addressed reports that former teammate Percy Harvin punched him in the face during Super Bowl week in New York, which were widely circulated following Harvin’s trade to the New York Jets earlier this season.

“To set the record straight, I was not punched by Percy during Super Bowl week last year, nor did I have a black eye, as was speculated on by various Internet reports,” he wrote (his emphasis.) “I even saw a photo of my face that was Photoshopped with a mark on it! Percy and I did have a confrontation, yes, but no punches were thrown, and it certainly never rose to the level that was erroneously reported by certain outlets. I highly respect his level of play. He’s one of the best in the game!”

The 26-year-old says he wrote the essay, titled “Silence Isn’t Golden,” to help people get to know him better, and to encourage people not to believe everything they see or read about him or anyone else.

“What is said about a player can have a huge impact on him, his family, and his place in the community-especially if it’s not true,” he wrote.

Tate also addressed why he chose to sign with the Detroit Lions as an unrestricted free agent after winning the Super Bowl, saying while he originally offered to take a “hometown discount,” Detroit’s offer ultimately “made a lot of sense for me and my family.”

“I am not unique in this respect. Each and every season, in all professional sports, players must carefully weigh their options. The choices we make as free agents can be life-altering, and many of us don’t get more than one opportunity like that,” he wrote.

Tate goes on to say in addition to financial considerations, he was drawn by the opportunity to play alongside perennial All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford, and to build “something great in Detroit.”

While Tate has taken plenty of heat from some Seattle fans on social media, he wrote that he loved playing in Seattle and continues to have “affection for the city and the vast majority of the fans that make up the Seahawks’ incredibly passionate fanbase. I also have a good relationship with many former teammates and the coaches and ownership there,” he wrote.

Tate had a breakout season for the Lions in 2014, leading Detroit in receptions (99) and receiving yards before losing to Dallas in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

“Not only is this a new era for Lions football, but it’s also hopefully the beginning of brighter days for the community, too. Despite the heartbreaking playoff loss in Dallas, we’re building something really good.”

Tate concludes the essay saying he wishes the media would tell more positive stories about NFL players and all the good they do for their communities.

“Hopefully, this essay will serve as a way for you to get to know me-the real me-a little bit better. Maybe it will encourage you, the next time you want to write or tweet or yell something at an athlete you don’t really know, to stop and consider the impact of your words. And maybe, just maybe, I will re-engage over social media to help that along.”

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