After Sapp tweet, Ravens DT wants 'to be the better person'
UPDATE: Just to apologize -- I misinterpreted an ambiguous quote from Timmy Jernigan (as Yahoo Sports did as well) to mean the opposite of what it actually meant. When Jernigan told ESPN "I'm not changing my number," I took that to mean "I'm not changing from the number I've had for three seasons now" when he actually meant "I'm not changing my number again."
I checked with ESPN's Jamison Hensley, and he confirmed that Jernigan is still wearing No. 99 and plans to, despite Sapp's objections. I've recast this blog post to reflect that, and posted with a new URL because the old one had the incorrect info in it.
The Ravens defensive tackle who wanted to wear No. 99 as a tribute to former Bucs star Warren Sapp -- who publicly asked how he could stop that from happening -- will stick with his new number despite the Hall of Famer's objections, according to an ESPN report.
Former FSU star Timmy Jernigan had announced he was switching to No. 99 as a tribute to one of his role models, and when the Ravens tweeted out the news, Sapp tweeted back to his 1.2 million followers "how do I stop this??"
Sapp later attempted to clarify that he had reached out to Jernigan as a potential mentor during the draft in 2014 and Jernigan hadn't taken advantage of that, and also explained that he was trying to protect him from the burden of wearing a number worn by a Pro FootballHall of Famer like himself. "Go out and make a name for yourself for you," Sapp told PewterReport.com. "Don’t go and use a first ballot defensive tackle that you will now be judged against."
Jernigan, speaking for the first time since Sapp's tweet, is keeping the number despite Sapp's advice to the contrary.
"I'm going to be the bigger person," Jernigan told ESPN. "He says what he wants to. He can feel what he wants to. At the end of the day, it's all good. All I'm worried about is winning football games here in Baltimore. ... Every now and then, you come across those type of people in life. I just can't worry about that. ... I'm not changing my number. And if you don't want it to be about him, it doesn't have to. At the end of the day, it's just a number."