Last week, the Tampa Bay Times ran a story about Kendrick Morris, who faces sentencing for two rapes he committed in 2007 and 2008, when he was 15 and 16 years old. During a sentencing hearing, a doctor who examined Morris testified that Morris felt remorse for his crimes and could be rehabilitated. He also shared details of alleged childhood abuse Morris suffered at the hands of former Buccaneers lineman and current SB Nation writer Stephen White.
From the Tampa Bay Times:
Berney Wilkinson, who examined Morris before his first sentence and again more recently, said Morris lived in fear of his stepfather, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Steve White, and told of abusive punishments, including beatings that left scars on his body, the expert said.
Wilkinson related one memory Morris recalled, in which his stepfather, as punishment for doing poorly in school, broke all the boy’s Christmas presents in front of him.
The abuse was compounded by the fact that Morris’ mother, Lisa Stevens, did little to stop the punishments, according to testimony.
White could not be reached for comment Thursday. He has previously declined to discuss his relationship with Morris or Morris’ mother.
Yesterday, White released a statement on Twitter in which he vehemently denied the allegations that were shared in court. White claims that all allegations of abuse are false, that he was never Morris’s stepfather, that he hasn’t lived with Morris or his mother since the year 2000, and that he had “very little contact” with Morris during the time period when the alleged abuse took place. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Morris told child protection investigators about the alleged abuse in 2007.
White also points out that he has never been arrested or charged with any crimes.
Today, the Tampa Bay Times confirmed that White has no criminal record, and reports that Morris’s mother was charged with child abuse but later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.