Warren Sapp irresponsibly tweeted Wednesday that Jeremy Shockey was the “snitch” who told the NFL investigators about the Saints bounty system. Shockey, who played for the Saints two of the three years they had bounties, denied Sapp’s accusation, but the allegation spread across the internet and ended up on many major sports websites. It was even discussed on NFL Network which is owned by the league. There is a serious conflict because the league promised to protect anyone who reports wrongdoing in the NFL. Now the only thing Shockey can do is defend his reputation.
Shockey has said he has a strong relationship with Saints coach Sean Payton and that he wouldn’t rat him out. Shockey even suggested he and Sapp take a lie detector test and show it on TV. But his most powerful words came when he blasted Warren Sapp.
“Sapp can say what he wants about me, but if he really says that he’ll put his life on the line for his source, we’ll see,” he told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve never been a guy who failed multiple drug tests. I’ve never been divorced. I don’t have four kids by four different women. I don’t lie. This attacks my character and it’s not fair.”
Wow, talk about a burn. It’s nice Shockey brought all that up about Sapp because many people don’t realize what a clown he is. We’ve tried to point it out before and we’ll do it again.
Sapp’s claim about Shockey is irreversible. Once the word gets out that Shockey is the snitch — which is exactly what Sapp did — that’s all most people will hear. They won’t know about Shockey’s denial (or they’ll dismiss it). They won’t do the research and realize that Shockey was upset when he first heard about the allegation several weeks ago. They dismiss the reports from Mike Freeman of CBS and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk who both say Shockey was not the snitch. Nope, most people from now on will think Jeremy Shockey is the reason the Saints got into so much trouble, even if it’s not true, all because of Sapp.
Sapp’s disgustingly irresponsible tweet is grounds for firing. Anyone with Sapp’s clout (or less for that matter) should never throw out a name unless they are 100% certain about their report and have evidence to prove it when it comes to such a sensitive subject. You especially don’t do that when you’re an employee of a league looking to clean up the game, not discourage people from ever stepping forward again. This was a colossal mistake by Sapp on several levels. The only proper response is for him to apologize for saddling Shockey with a snitch label for life and to be fired for his recklessness.
UPDATE: Shockey has tweeted a screen shot of a text conversation between him and Sean Payton which seemingly proves that there are no hard feelings.