Damarious Randall's tweet heard 'round the world goes to show the passion of Cleveland sports fans, the Browns free safety said as his post continues to orbit around the internet.
Randall, who enters his first season with the team, wrote "If the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2018 NBA finals I'll buy everyone who retweet's this a jersey…" Monday night with an eye toward the fourth-straight clash between the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals later this week.
Randall, a Steph Curry fan and — by extension — a member of Dub Nation, was surprised as anyone as the post became the most retweeted tweet of any NFL player.
"I'm definitely having fun, no I didn't think the tweet would go this viral," said Randall, who was traded to Cleveland in March after three years with the Packers.
"That just goes to show that this Cleveland fan base is great. I'm actually excited about it, just to know that the fan base is like this. I really can't imagine what it's going to be like when the Browns start winning a lot of games."
As of Wednesday afternoon, Randall's tweet had eclipsed 800,000 retweets and 150,000 likes. When he launched it into the Twittersphere, he imagined it wouldn't receive more than 100 interactions.
"I didn't actually think people were going to view that as a serious tweet," he said. "It's a great opportunity to interact with the fans. We're just gonna watch the series."
Randall, who also made clear his admiration of Cavaliers star forward LeBron James, said he's been unable to monitor the tweet's viral behavior because "my phone freezes every time that I go on Twitter … I didn't really know that it got that crazy, because every time that I go onto Twitter my phone literally shuts down."
Asked about having the most popular tweet by an athlete, he laughed and said "I don't know, do I get a trophy for that?"
Browns coach Hue Jackson played down the tweet as a new player learning how much fans in Northeast Ohio love their sports teams. "I think what Damarious found out is there's a lot of passionate Cleveland fans here and you have to be careful what you say," he said, laughing. "But I think he found out that, hey look, it's about the Cavaliers and LeBron James."
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, another newcomer, said Jackson addressed the issue during a team meeting. "I think that he understands what he did. I don't think it hit him at the time, just because it's you using your phone," he said. "You don't really realize the impact that you have. As a professional athlete, people are always watching, always critiquing. It's just a lesson learned, for sure."
While it's unclear whether Randall will deliver on his playful pledge, he said he plans on doing something for Cleveland fans either way.
"I definitely didn't think it would go as viral as it did," he said. "Obviously it was a joke, but to know how passionate this fan base is is really encouraging."