Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, formally introduced as a member of the Buccaneers on Friday, says his “dirty player” reputation has become “irrelevant” to his life and he believes people should get to know him before discerning what type of person he is, Jenna Laine of ESPN reports.
“I think when you look at people in general, you’ve got to get to know them, you’ve got to have face time with them, you’ve got to be able to have the opportunity to interact with them,” Suh said.
“Before you pass judgment on somebody, always take the time to get to know them, meet them, have coffee with them, whatever it may be and then be able to go from there.”
“I think when people have seen blips of me … it’s been in a negative light, rather than a positive light and that’s due to outlets of media, social media, whatever it may be. I can deal with that because I know who I am as a person, I know who my parents are, what kind of child they brought up — it’s irrelevant in my life. I think the people that know me the best see me always in a good light and see the troubles and tribulations that I’ve gone through, as any human being goes through in their lives.”
Since he was drafted in 2010, Suh has accrued 71 accepted penalties, more than any other player in the league, and has been fined $336,098, not including lost wages from suspensions, according to ESPN Statistics & Information.
The most notable incident — when he stomped on the arm of a then-Green Bay Packers offensive lineman in 2011 — involved Evan Smith, who is now Suh’s teammate with the Buccaneers.
“I think that was in the past and it will remain in the past,” Suh said of the incident. “We’ve interacted with each other multiple times throughout [the years]. He was actually the second guy I got to speak to when I got here today, so I don’t see any issue with it. I think people want to make it bigger than what it is. I’ll leave it at that.”
Coach Bruce Arians added: “They were hugging coming down the hallway together so I don’t think there’s any problem. We’re all here to win, and once you’re in the same locker room you can forget all the past stuff. Some of that stuff happened a long time ago and I don’t really care. That doesn’t bother me. The way he plays football — I like that. So he’s a good fit for us.”