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November 7, 2013 @ 1:30 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Ahanotu: "Everyone Knows Sapp Was A Bully"

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Former Bucs Warren Sapp and Chidi Ahanotu have has their share of well-publicized altercations over the years and things were brought to the forefront again on Wednesday after a interview in which Keyshawn Johnson said he saw Sapp bully Ahanotu on a number of occasions. PewterReport.com spoke to Ahanotu Wednesday night about the reports.
The reports of physical and verbal altercations in the Buccaneers locker room between former Bucs stars Warren Sapp and Chidi Ahanotu have floated around for years and are legendary.

The main NFL headline over the last few days has the situation in Miami where offensive lineman Ritchie Incognito allegedly bullied Jonathan Martin to the point where Martin left the team because of the emotional distress. On Wednesday, when addressing the Martin-Incognito issues, former Buc wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson tossed out a grenade, comparing the Sapp and Ahanotu feud to what is going on in Miami.

Johnson speaking on 95.7 FM The Game in San Francisco told the hosts Sapp bullied Ahanotu.

“Chidi Ahanotu played with me in Tampa Bay, and I used to watch Warren Sapp do some similar things to Chidi Ahanotu,” Johnson said.  “Now I’m saying this on the record, and it’s going to go all over the country after I say this. I used to watch him try to bully Chidi Ahanotu, OK?  Because he felt he was more superior than Chidi.  So one day, you know what Ahanotu did? He got up and he told him, ‘Get your you-know-what in the middle of the floor right now. I’m tired of it.

“And at that point guess what Sapp did? He sat down. And then everybody else in the locker room, me,the Derrick Brookses, the Brian Kellys, we all said, ‘Good for you, man.’  [Sapp] didn’t want no part of it. Until you stand up for yourself and don’t allow these chumps to do that sort of stuff to you, they’ll keep doing it.  That’s the way bullies are.”

PewterReport.com spoke to Ahanotu late Wednesday night about the complex relationship between the two.

“Sapp was a bully, and I have no idea why he is trying to say that he isn’t,” Ahanotu said. “It’s like, ‘Come on man, just admit it.’ Everyone knows he was a bully. Call anyone in that locker room, the front office the coaches, even the janitors.  Go ask them. Sapp was a bully.”

“But he is going around acting like this big jovial teddy bear for the nation to see. Why doesn’t he just admit it? Call a spade a spade. Everybody knows what Sapp is about. Where are the people who claim he is a golden boy? Everybody knows what he is about.”

Ahanotu said the good guy image Sapp portrays on television is not the true Sapp.

“Nationally they build him up to be the face of the NFL, and he is the jovial teddy bear, hanging with the super stars and all that stuff, so the national media has made him into a good guy, a card," Ahanotu told PewterReport.com. "But it is all about making money. They have decided they can make money off of his personality. From the organization all the way up to the media, they have all swept these things aside and said, ‘It doesn’t matter how much of a jerk he is or a bully, he is one of the greatest to ever play and that is what is important.’ As long as he doesn’t do that act of his in front of the important people then it is all right. So the brand and the corporate sponsors  – and you know his act on the air is as edgy as you can get – but they like that controversy right? But he doesn’t take it as far as he did in that locker room.”

In a report by ESPN.com Sapp went on the defensive after the Johnson reports began making national news.

“Check the source,'' Sapp said. “I've been in the locker room with Chidi for many years. If you know the nature of the beast, don't be surprised by what it does. He had plenty of time to say whatever he wanted to say about Sapp up until this point. Warren was just as hard on you as he was on himself. I think Derrick Brooks and anyone else that's been in that locker room will tell you. I've been called everything under the sun in this town.

"This is the first time I've ever heard that and why do you think that is? 

I think I helped him get paid. And then when he got his 10 sacks, didn't come to the offseason conditioning, yeah, I tortured his [butt] because we needed him here in the offseason. If I was going to be here every day, why wasn't he? He got his $30 million deal, I got my $36 million deal and we were out there in the same dirt. But he still says I'm his brother because he knows I was right to get on his [butt] about not being here.''

Despite the verbal sparring between the two, Ahanotu said that the issues in Miami happen frequently in NFL locker rooms, and are part of life in the NFL.

“No matter how much the NFL tries to make the sport we play into this politically correct world, the underbelly is always going to remain the same,” Ahanotu said. “That is the nature of the game we play. But now with Incognito and Martin, this has been going on for years. It is just that he has gotten his out in the national media. It has been a way of weeding out the weak and meek. It is a dog-eat-dog world in the NFL. And guys are going to check you. They are going to test you. They are in the trenches with you, they go to battle with you so you are going to get tested. You are going to go through the rite of passage. If you deserve to be out here with us then you are going to get it. And if you aren’t going to give it back then you are going to wilt like Martin did.

“It is almost a necessary evil for our sport man. This is as close as you can get to gladiators; this is as close as you can get to going to war. It is violent out there man. I am trying to take your head off. You can make it as glossy and pretty and commercial – but there are some blood and guts going on out there. So no it shouldn’t be changed. Now I am sure they are going to do something about it because it doesn’t look good.”

While Ahanotu confirmed the bullying that Johnson made mention of, he said his problems with Sapp and Martin’s situation was somewhat different, and that he didn’t feel like a victim.

“I wasn’t sitting there like some victim cowering in the corner, I was giving it back to him the whole time,” Ahanotu said. “And we went head-to-head and toe-to-toe all the time. And it is not just me, he did that with a lot of people. We went at it. I would check him and he would check me. I would say, ‘Sapp get your fat *censored* going.’ I remember he came to camp all out of shape one year and I was on him. I was older than him and I was one of the only people that would give it to him.”

Ahanotu was adamant that Martin could have stopped the harassment himself.

“See Martin could have handled it like me,” Ahanotu said. “There has to come a time when you have to be like, ‘(expletive) you man.’ Let’s go and you have to stand up for yourself.”

Ahanotu said despite the bad blood between the two, there is a bond between them that was built through the locker room issues – and time spent in the trenches. Ahonotu wasn't sure if Sapp would have his back today, but would like to think so.

“Sapp was my brother and if he ever called and said he needed something I am going to be there,” Ahanotu said. “I have three sons now and they fight all the time but if somebody ever tried to do something to one of their brothers, then it is going to be a bad day for that guy. I would hope so. I don’t really know the answer to that question. But in my heart of hearts I believe Sapp would be there for me. I know that cat has love for me man. The thing is he wants to be backpedaling, but just say the truth, you were a bully. But in the end I would like to think he would be there for me in the end.”

Last modified on Thursday, 07 November 2013 02:34

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  • avatar

    You know if you want to win a war and there are going to be wars, you need some bad men (Dogs) on your side too! Sometimes the most courageous warrior is filled with so much testosterone, so much passion, with such a drive to win, innocent people get hurt. The Army calls it collateral damage. Nobody likes to see it happen and you would never invite these types for dinner. But when crunch time comes, you want these guys on your side. How many of you would not want Sapp or Suh on your team today? Heck, I would even take Talib back! Easy to condemn, hard to do without!
  • avatar

    I don't care what Sapp did back when he played.He made it to the Hall of Fame-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    I don't like the "Gladiator" moniker. "It's as close to war as your gonna get." Pretty bold statement from a bunch of guys who have no clue what war really is. Some people actually have been in a war or have a son / daughter there right now. These blowhard football players would be hiding in the corner sucking their thumb if they knew what a real war was. Go join 160th then tell me about the nature of your stupid game is war like. B.S. 75% of NFL players are broke at retirement and 100% of the players named in this article are in fact bankrupt. You want me to take you seriously for playing a game, getting paid millions of dollars and try to use it as a metaphor for something paramount to military service.....Please... go sell your ego somewhere else. Its a game. It just doesn't matter. If football ended tomorrow we would all find something else to do. Oh well. What a bunch of idiots...
  • avatar

    Backside Pursuit; thank you for your service.
  • avatar

    Well said, sir!
  • avatar

    How do you compare racist remarks and threats of violence to getting on someone for their performance.... What a crap report to publish. Keyshawn can say Sapp was a bully Chidi can say Sapp was a bully, so what. But he is not being called a racist, and that my friends was the line that Ignorito crossed. Be real and compare apples to apples.
  • avatar

    K-Swiss; I agree with you. The N word needs to be pulled and that word needs no more to be said or written; no different than the old dixie song, or the Nazi symbol.
  • avatar

    Don Banks today on Schiano and co: "a coaching tenure on life support, waiting for the plug to be pulled. It would be a mercy killing at this point."...mercy for all of us!
  • avatar

    Different circumstances all together. The Bucs were a real player team back then and Miami right now is just a collection of players and they are not a real team yet. The now Bucs are a team forced by the coach, not yet by the players; when that happens look out fans, we are on our way. I say this because the player team will stand up to Schiano and tell him what needs to be fixed so they can start winning multiple games. That's why I said weeks ago that first the players need to call a meeting with the owners and stand up and tell them that they are a player team and help them with the coaching. Now I base this on that I believe a few players already tried this with the coach and got shot down immediately.
  • avatar

    Stay tuned, surferdudes, the Keyshawn rant is on the way! lol
  • avatar

    So what was he Chidi, a bully, or a brother? He got on Key too for not being with the team during OTA's, Key did his work outs in So Cal. Key was such a good team mate, and player Gruden told him to stay in L.A. with pay. Comparing Sapp's leadership skills to Incognito's bullying is not fair. There's only two Bucs in the hall of fame, neither of them is named Johnson, or Ahanotu. When Sapp was inducted to the hall of fame Dungy, and Gruden were proudly sitting in attendence. I don't think a man like Dungy would pay homage to a player like Sapp if he didn't really respect, and love the man. That's good enough for me. As for Chidi, and Key, sour grapes from two former Bucs who must pay admission price to get in the hall of fame.
  • avatar

    There's a difference between being a bully and being a jerk.

    It's pretty well known that Sapp was a jerk, but seriously Chidi he was "bullying" you? Really? You felt scared and intimidated? Or was Sapp, as he said, riding you because you signed a big contract and didn't show-up for offseason workouts?

    Remember everyone, "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." See if Sapp was using sticks or stones or hitting you, then he'd be a bully. If Sapp was hurting you with his "words" then he may or may not have been just being a Jerk.

    This "words hurt" Glee Generation makes me sick - and Chidi is too old to be a part of that.
  • avatar

    Did you even read the article?
  • avatar

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