Shaq Evans buoyed by Rider Nation following West Semi-Final ‘hate’

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ receiver Shaq Evans tweeted about the criticism he received from fans on Twitter regarding his performance in the West Semi-Final.

“I love how some fans hate me now it’s ok,” tweeted Evans following Saskatchewan’s win over Calgary on Sunday. “I know and ppl that really now me know what I’m capable of. Just hasn’t gone my way this year! But that’s life you’re gonna have good times and bad times but I’ll keep working regardless. I love my team! All that matters is we won!”

The tweet garnered 845 likes and 176 replies in the 17 hours following its publication with most of the responses carrying messages of support from fans and teammates.

“You’re our bro! Everyone has your back! Everyone knows you’re one of our keys to victory! Soooo excited to see you play next week! We all love you!” tweeted fullback Alexandre Dupuis.

“Appreciate you brotha!” replied Evans. “Can’t wait to get back out there! Let’s go! I know we’re gonna keep fighting together!”

Evans was targeted four times in the West Semi-Final and made one catch for minus-four yards. It marked the latest in a series of disappointing games for Evans, who has yet to have a breakout performance since returning from a broken foot in Week 12.

The 30-year-old also drew criticism on TSN’s broadcast for not breaking off his route to make a play on the ball late in the first quarter. Instead of generating a key first down in Calgary territory, the pass was undercut by defensive back Jonathan Moxey for his second interception of the opening frame.

A Twitter user by the name of Wyatt Chowden tweeted at Evans during the game to ask if he was aware that it was the playoffs and “not pre season.” The star receiver replied following the game with what was clearly an irritated response.

“Fans like you are so annoying. You don’t know what’s going on out there. Great team win! Stop being a Twitter warrior you’re a grown man. Smh loser,” Evans wrote.

Evans was a CFL all-star in 2019 after making 72 receptions for 1,334 yards and five touchdowns, capping one of the best single-season performances by a receiver in the recent history of the franchise. Despite receiving some trollish tweets, Evans took to Twitter to thank his fans and teammates for their support on Monday.

“I appreciate all the support guys!!! Let’s go! On to Winnipeg! Gonna be epic!!” Evans tweeted.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday by a score of 33-30 to mark their first home playoff win at Mosaic Stadium. They will travel to Winnipeg this week to take on the Blue Bombers in the West Final for a chance to play in the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton.