Julius Randle Apologizes to Knicks Fans for Thumbs Down, 'Shut the F--k Up' Comment

Adam WellsJanuary 7, 2022

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in New York. The Knicks won 108-105. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Another New York athlete has apologized for a thumbs-down gesture directed at the hometown crowd. 

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle issued a statement on Instagram apologizing for his postgame comments and saying he "should have handled things differently" for giving the crowd at Madison Square Garden a thumbs down after he made a bucket late in the fourth quarter of Thursday's win over the Boston Celtics. 

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Julius Randle’s message on Instagram <a href="https://t.co/21nnLg6zIW">pic.twitter.com/21nnLg6zIW</a>

Speaking to reporters after the win, Randle said the gesture was to get Knicks fans to "shut the f--k up" after they booed the team at times in the first half for their poor performance. 

During the 2021 Major League Baseball season, New York Mets players Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar made a thumbs-down gesture during a game against the Washington Nationals. 

Baez told reporters it was "to let [fans] know when we don’t have success we are going to get booed, so they are going to get booed when we have success."

Baez and Lindor apologized for the situation. 

With the Knicks and Randle off to a disappointing start this season, frustration has been mounting as the team tries to find answers to make a move in the Eastern Conference standings. 

After Wednesday's practice, Randle sounded off on the criticism that has surrounded him and the team this season. 

"Really don’t give a f--k what anybody has to say, to be honest," Randle told reporters. "I’m out there playing. Nobody knows the game out there better than I do, compared to what everybody has to say."

The Celtics led by as many as 25 points in the first half on Thursday night, but the Knicks outscored them 61-42 in the second half. RJ Barrett hit the game-winning three as time expired to give New York a 108-105 victory. 

Expectations were high for Randle and the Knicks coming into the 2021-22 campaign. He was coming off his first All-Star appearance and led the team to the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 41-31 record last season. 

New York currently sits in 10th place in the East with a 19-20 record. Randle is averaging 19.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, but he's only shooting 42.2 percent from the field in 37 starts.