The 38-year-old former NFL safety – who has been charged with drugging and raping two women in L.A. and faces two counts of aggravated rape of two different women in New Orleans – was officially terminated by the NFL Network, according to a spokesman. Sharper was an analyst on the network after his playing days ended, but was suspended indefinitely without pay Jan. 18 following an arrest for drug possession.
The news comes after an arrest warrant was issued for the former safety. He was charged with raping two women in New Orleans, per The Associated Press (via ESPN).
Sharper is also being investigated for sexual assault cases in Arizona, Florida and Nevada, while he pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Los Angeles on Feb. 20.
Regarding the charges in Arizona, Tempe police Sgt. Mike Pooley said, per Paul Vercammen and Saeed Ahmed of CNN, "We have nothing yet. We anticipate filing charges very shortly and we are still waiting on a couple of results from the crime lab."
Sharper surrendered to Los Angeles police earlier on Friday afternoon.
As Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch posited on Twitter before Sharper's firing, he presented a tough dilemma for NFL Network executives:
I'll be curious to see how the NFL Network covers the Darren Sharper legal proceedings. What do they owe viewers given they employed him?— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) February 28, 2014
On one hand, it's a newsworthy event, but it would be difficult for the network to look objective when it's reporting on one of its own employees.
It's a problem the NFL Network won't have to grapple with any longer.
Although this is the end for Sharper at the NFL-owned channel, this is only the beginning of his legal troubles. Getting fired is the least of his worries at the moment.