In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday, Warren Sapp broke his silence about his bankruptcy filing, trying to set the record straight.
“Do you think I wanted to declare bankruptcy? Do you think if there was any other way possible I would have done it? It was either this or go to jail. Those were my choices.”
Sapp’s money problems began in 2005 when a construction venture went bad, eventually resulting in 100% of his NFL Network wages being garnished. With no disposable income being generated by his work, Sapp was unable to pay his child support, making his $6.7 million bankruptcy filing his only way of avoiding jail.
Warren Sapp has always been a controversial figure, and I’m sure that some people are enjoying his misfortune, but knowing the facts of the situation makes the idea of Sapp declaring bankruptcy a lot easier to rationalize than it would have been had he not come forward to present his side of the story.
Sapp’s situation isn’t unlike many former and current pro athletes. There’s a huge adjustment from not making any money in college to making millions of dollars immediately after signing with an NFL team. It’s hard, if not impossible, to put ourselves in the shoes of pro athletes with more money than they could possibly need. People have an uncanny ability to use as much money as we make, and that holds true whether you make $15,000 a year or $5 million a year. If Warren Sapp is guilty of anything, it’s managing his money poorly.