National Football League (NFL) player Lucky Whitehead on Tuesday said he was “blindsided” when Virginia police misidentified him as a man charged with shoplifting.
“As far as [how] the whole situation went down, I was blindsided,” he told The Dallas Morning News during a phone interview. “I didn’t know about a warrant that came about in the first place.”
“[It’s] clearly because I wasn’t the person arrested,” the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver added. “The head person [in the Cowboys organization] 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.”
Whitehead added his frustration is with the Cowboys organization rather than his former teammates.
“They believed me,” he said of his teammates. “I don’t want to say my teammates. As far as how it was handled? Come on.”
“Let’s not sugarcoat anything,” Whitehead added of how the Cowboys treated him. “I was pretty much being called a liar.”
Some Twitter users on Tuesday criticized the Cowboys after the professional football team cut Whitehead Monday.
Shame to call myself a cowboys fan after the lucky whitehead debacle.This is why we can't get over the hump! Bad management— Gabriel Bass (@GabrielBass03) July 25, 2017
Other people on the social media platform defended the Cowboys’ decision, citing past problems Whitehead had with the team.
True fans that follow the Cowboys properly understand that Lucky Whitehead was on the bubble anyway because of past issues and 2 draft picks— Jason Monohon (@jmonohon) July 25, 2017
think, who has ur social security #, who had access to ur dog, who is to blame 4 u being late to meetings, practices, plane flights?— Joe Cates (@dallascowboyjoe) July 25, 2017
The Prince William County Police Department in Virginia on Tuesday said that a man charged with shoplifting on June 22 was not Whitehead, as they originally signaled.
“Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 of an individual named ‘Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.,’ the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys,” the department said in a statement.
“The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, he did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney, Darnell Whitehead, Jr.,” the statement added.
“Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identity was falsely provided to police during the investigation.”
The Cowboys officially released Whitehead on Monday amid reports that the football player was charged with misdemeanor larceny in his home state of Virginia on June 22.
Whitehead failed to show for a July 6 court arraignment in Virginia, leading authorities there to issue a warrant for his arrest.
A man identified as Whitehead was reportedly arrested on June 22 and accused of stealing less than $200 of merchandise from a convenience store in Woodbridge, VA.