Former Buccaneers’ and Raiders’ player Warren Sapp has been arrested in Phoenix for soliciting a prostitute and assault. Sapp was in Phoenix as an analyst for the NFL Network, providing coverage of Super Bowl XLIX.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the trouble began about 4:30 a.m. ET when guests of the Renaissance Hotel in Phoenix reported hearing verbal arguments and items crashing against the walls. Upon opening their door, the guests found two women — one on the ground with visible injuries — who asserted that Sapp had assaulted them and requested for the guests to call the police.
Phoenix Police arrived a short time later and, upon interviewing the women and Sapp, arrested the Hall of Famer around 9:30 a.m. ET. Sapp allegedly admitted to paying one of the women for sex but denied any physical altercations.
According to TMZ, who broke the story, this is not Warren’s first arrest. In 2010, he was arrested for domestic battery but the charges were dropped. And in 2014, Sapp was arrested again for domestic battery.
Updated news reports indicate that Sapp was released on his own recognizance with the caveats of not contacting the victims, returning to the scene, or possessing any weapons. Sapp is permitted to return to his home state of Florida, but is expected to return to Phoenix for a February 23 court date.
The day only got progressively worse for Sapp. According to Sport Illustrated, the NFL Network originally had released the following statement.
“Warren Sapp has been suspended indefinitely without pay from NFL Network pending the outcome of ongoing police investigation.”
Hours later, Alex Riethmiller, a spokesperson for the NFL Network confirmed the analyst had been fired.
This comes on the heels of a tumultuous season for the NFL in regard to abuse and violence with high-profile cases including former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice, Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson, and ousted Arizona Cardinal Jonathan Dwyer.
Warren Sapp was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995 as the 12th overall draft pick. He was a seven time Pro Bowl player and was part of the 2002 Super Bowl winning team. In 2004, Sapp transitioned to the Oakland Raiders where he played until his retirement in 2007. He was admitted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2013.
Non-football fans may recognize Warren from his 2008 stint during Season 7 of the ABC series Dancing with the Stars. Sapp and his partner, Kym Johnson, boogied their way into the finale, coming in for a respectable second place finish.
[Image courtesy of The Smoking Gun]