Wide receiver’s identity was falsely used during shoplifting arrest. Dallas subsequently released player after report of missed court hearing. Move came week after player said his dog was ransomed for $20,000
Lucky Whitehead may want to consider going by his birth name of Rodney after an extraordinary week of bad news.
The wide receiver, who has played in the No13 shirt during his career, was released by the Dallas Cowboys on Monday after reports emerged he had missed a court hearing relating to a case in which he had stolen $40 worth of goods from a Virginia convenience store in June.
However, on Tuesday, Prince William County police said they were confident the man charged with the crime had falsely given Whitehead’s name when he was arrested. That tallied with Whitehead’s agent, Dave Rich, who said his client wasn’t in the state at the time of the theft. Prince William police said it “regrets the impact these events had on Mr Whitehead and his family.”
On Tuesday, Whitehead said he was disappointed at the Cowboys’s handling of the situation. “As far as the whole situation went down, I was blindsided,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “I didn’t know about a warrant that came about in the first place. Clearly because I wasn’t the person arrested. The head person [at the Cowboys] I told, no one backed me up. No one had my back in the whole situation. I knew about it at what? 12.45. By 2.30 I’m released … Let’s not sugarcoat anything. I was pretty much being called a liar.”
Last week, Whitehead was caught up in another bizarre incident when he said his dog, Blitz, had been kidnapped and ransomed for $20,000. The story became stranger when video emerged of a rapper, Boogotti Kasino, with Blitz. Kasino said he had not kidnapped the dog but had bought it and wanted Whitehead to reimburse him. Blitz has since been returned safely.
Whitehead was left off the roster for a game last year when he missed a team meeting, apparently after a late night out. ESPN’s Josina Anderson said a Cowboys source had told her Whitehead’s release would stand, and was due to an effort “to improve the roster from an ability and team culture standpoint.”
The Cowboys have had a troubled off-season. As well as the Whitehead saga, star running back Ezekiel Elliott was allegedly involved in an altercation at a bar on Sunday but was not charged, while wide receiver Dez Bryant missed a team meeting.
Rich said he was confident his client has a future in the league. “We got made an example of,” Rich told ESPN. “They needed to make an example of somebody to get those boys’ heads on straight. It is calculated. But I get it. It’s business. [Cowboys head coach] Jason Garrett said it. They needed to do what’s in the best interest of the Cowboys. I think they’re wrong, but I get it.”
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