Friday, February 21, 2014
Sharper's former teammates 'shocked'
By Mike Triplett
With former New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper facing multiple allegations of rape and sexual assault across the country, three of his former teammates and his former position coach told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans that they are “shocked.” One player who asked not to be identified said he is “disgusted” by the details of the allegations.
Sharper, 38, pleaded not guilty this week to charges of rape by use of drugs in two separate incidents in Los Angeles. He is also under investigation in alleged sexual assaults or sexual battery in New Orleans, Arizona, Nevada and Miami.
“You've heard stories like this from time to time about a guy, but I never thought in a million years it would be something like this," said the unnamed former Saints teammate. “I’m shocked and disgusted by it. I'm going to wait until the whole thing plays out before I completely judge him. But this would be one hell of a conspiracy for that many allegations to pop up across (five) states in such a tight window of time. ...
"I'm pretty torn up about it all.”
Former Saints linebacker Scott Shanle said his initial reaction was “innocent until proven guilty.” But Shanle said, “The more things that kept popping up, the worse it looks."
Sharper spent the final two years of his 14-year career (2009 and 2010) in New Orleans. He also played for the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.
The unnamed player told The Times-Picayune that Sharper, who is single, had a reputation for being a womanizer and would talk about women in the locker room during his time with the Saints. And Shanle said there is “no doubt Sharper enjoyed the nightlife.”
But both former teammates said they never expected to hear these types of allegations.
Former Saints cornerback Jabari Greer and Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen (Sharper’s former position coach in New Orleans) also used the word “shocked.” Both said they had great relationships with Sharper. Greer said he was “an incredible professional” and a “joy to be around.”
“Not knowing the full situation, we just pray,” Greer said. "Our prayers go out to the families of the women who have come forward. ... We pray for healing for anyone involved on either side.”