February 7, 2010, - 11:57 am
As in years past, I guess I’ll have to use the word “Supe” instead of “Superbowl,” lest the NFL send its private cadre of ICE agent speech police my way for violating its trademark to the word.
And on that note, I think it’s no strange coincidence that Warren Sapp was pulled from today’s NFL Network coverage of the Supe, after being arrested for allegedly domestically assaulting whatever bim he brought with him to his Miami hotel room. Sapp has always been a thug, both on AND off the field. And that’s, sadly, the problem with far too many NFLers and has been for some time. You take people off the killing fields of America (and that means some White players, too, like Ryan Tucker, so please spare me the “you’re racist” comments), and then you expect that with a ton of money and nice XXL Armani suits, they’ll be civil. Not how it works.
This thuggishness and violence is a not a first for Sapp. And I had my own “experience” seeing Sapp’s rude and violent side (more on that later). He inspired new NFL rules against “unnecessary roughness” after he deliberately blindsided Chad Clifton of the Green Bay Packers and sent him to the hospital, when Clifton was not in the main action and was merely jogging down the side of the field. During Sapp’s NFL career he deliberately bumped two different referees on the field in two different games, one of them, after repeatedly swearing and gesturing at the ref. And that’s in addition to several other altercations and disruptions at NFL games, including threatening to beat up then-Packers Coach Mike Sherman. Sooner or later you knew this predilection for violence would spread off the field with this guy. And I’m not just talking about at least four kids he fathered with three different women.
Sapp was charged with one count of misdemeanor domestic battery and is expected to appear before a Miami-Dade County judge today. . . .
The victim had a swollen knee and bruises on her neck, according to an arrest affidavit. She told detectives that she was partying with Sapp and her friends at the hotel and asked for his room key when she grew tired. Sapp reportedly woke up the victim a few hours later and they started to argue. She told investigators that Sapp started to choke her and pushed her down on a couch.
As the argument escalated, Sapp grabbed the woman by her shirt and neck and threw her down again, the affidavit states.
In 2002, I went to meet up with a friend of mine–one of Sapp’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates–after a Detroit Lion’s game. I had the unfortunate experience of being introduced to Sapp and his then-agent Drew Rosenhaus, neither of whom I had any desire to meet. Sapp swore at me and made scary faces because I was not interested in meeting him. I was waiting for my friend, “Solo,” a former University of Wisconsin player, whom I’d tutored while I was in grad school there, with whom I became good friends, and who signed with Tampa and invited me to the game, when he and his team played Detroit. I thought Sapp was pretty scary.
And there are plenty more–far too many more–like Sapp in the NFL who are still playing on the field, collecting millions, and acting violently off the field. Most years, some writer or another tallies up how many convicted criminals–many of ‘em violent criminals–are playing in that year’s Superbowl. Not sure what the tally is this year. But you can bet it ain’t zero.
Warren Sapp is just an emblem of the continuing problem. Once a Sapp, always a Sapp. Nice suits, lots of money, and a job on the field and one in the broadcast booth when you retire, doesn’t make you a decent human being.
Tags: arrest, domestic violence, NFL, NFL Network, Super Bowl, Superbowl, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, thug, Warren Sapp