Warren Sapp, who was kicked out late in the first half after drawing three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, lashed out at the officiating crew and said he did nothing to earn the ejection.
Referee Jerome Boger has claimed that Sapp bumped umpire Garth DeFelice, which is why he was kicked out of Oakland’s 49-11 loss to the Jaguars.
“I didn't put my hand on anybody. I didn't push nobody. I didn't shove nobody. I didn't do anything to anybody,” Sapp said, speaking for the first time since the incident. “I felt cheated. I felt like I should have whipped somebody's ass. I should have beaten somebody up so at least they put you on SportsCenter for whipping some ass. At least you get a little respect.”
Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said he doesn’t anticipate losing Sapp to a suspension but league spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday no decision had been made and that one should come later in the week.
Sapp, who was fined $50,000 for bumping an official in 2003 while still with Tampa Bay, was angry after officials announced that the Raiders had declined an illegal use of the hands penalty against Jacksonville tackle Tony Pashos late in the second quarter. A team captain, Sapp said none of the officials had consulted him or any other Oakland player prior to declining the penalty, a point he tried to make to Boger.
“I'm like, 'Dude, you got to come to a captain,‘“ Sapp said. “He's like, 'I couldn't find you.' I said, 'You couldn't find me on a football field? Come on.' Then, after he threw the flag, we lined up and I said, 'You're just going to give 'em back the yardage that we asked to take and you weren't going to give us in the first place?' So, then we line back up and then it's an offsides or something and I'm like, 'You're all just going to call anything today.' It was all just words. I never put my hand on nobody, never bumped nobody, never did anything.”
The Raiders were flagged for four unsportsmanlike penalties, all coming during a dead-ball period near the end of the first half. Sapp had three while defensive end Derrick Burgess was hit with the other.
After the call was made on Pashos, referees initially announced Oakland had declined the penalty. Later, they said the Raiders would accept the penalty, which moved the Jags out of field goal range. As Jacksonville’s offense came back on the field, the situation between Sapp and the referees heated up.
Things got so intense that Oakland’s Terdell Sands was sent out by Kiffin to get Sapp off the field. When that failed, defensive line coach Keith Millard stepped in between Sapp and the officials.
Time did nothing to calm Sapp’s anger. Though he has yet to hear from the NFL offices, the 35-year-old refuted the claims that he had bumped an official and said if the charge were true, it would have shown up on tape.
“That's what they're trying to sneak in now, that, 'Oh, we got him bumping him twice,'” Sapp said. “Bump who? It's been four days. You can't find it (on film) in four days? They got 20 cameras out there.
“It's all mouth. It's all a P.R. shtick. 'The big bad 99 has done it now.' Whatever, man. I have no recourse. You saw (Green Bay linebacker Nick) Barnett bumped (the ref in the Packers game). He bumped him. He physically bumped him. They didn't throw him out of the game, they didn't bother him at all. They didn't do anything. It's only me. It's always been me.
"I don't know what they were doing but the whole karma of the situation is, they move the ball all the way down ... and we pick it. That let's you know right there, because this game has a great way of saying whether you're right or wrong in no uncertain terms. That's it. When Kirk picked it off, I said, 'That's perfect irony right there.’"