Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate has admitted to pushing off Green Bay Packers defensive back Sam Shields in the final seconds of the Seahawks' controversial Week 3 win and fully acknowledged getting away without penalty, but he said he never had the intention to cheat, according to ESPN.com:
"As far as pushing the defender, I was caught up in the moment, playing football. At that point, it was just like backyard football -- find a way to get the ball. I didn't intentionally try to shove him to the ground. [T]he evidence shows on the film. But I never had intentions on cheating. I wasn't trying to cheat. I was competing, it was in the moment."
His statement comes as a contradiction to comments he made in an earlier report that he told ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters that he didn't know what she was talking about when she asked him if he had in fact pushed off Shields. The 24-yard touchdown reception ended up giving the Seahawks a 14-12 win over the Packers on the final night of the replacement referees officiating an NFL game. The league and the referees association came to terms on a new contract to have them back on the field officiating starting with Thursday's games.