In 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston No.1 overall while valuing his ability to produce while at Florida State over issues regarding his character.
Winston, before playing a snap for the Florida State Seminoles, got accused of rape and sexual misconduct. No charges were ever filed and according to reports it was due to the investigation being hindered by the Tallahassee police department and the school itself.
Ultimately, it cost Florida State $950,000 to settle a federal Title IX lawsuit. Winston also settled a civil lawsuit with his accuser and the details of the settlement are confidential.
He also received community service and got suspended by FSU’s baseball team for stealing crab legs. Jimbo Fisher now the head coach of Texas A&M declined to punish Winston any further. By saying “his punishment went through the school and through baseball.”
Winston did get a one game suspension for getting on a table and yelling “f*** her right in the pussy.” Essentially while in college, Winston got a free pass with his antics and it didn’t cost him draft position.
In 2017, the Buccaneers had Winston speak at an elementary school and he insinuated an insulting stereotype that girls and women are meant to be seen not heard. His excuse “I was making an effort to interact with a young male in the audience who didn’t seem to be paying attention, and I didn’t want to single him out, so I asked all the boys to stand up.”
With his history he really doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and not exactly sure how the Buccaneers allowed for him to go speak to begin with.
The NFL reportedly is suspending Winston three games after investigating an alleged groping incident with a Uber driver in 2016. When the news first broke the Buccaneers quarterback said “I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her.”
Ronald Darby, a former teammate of Winston’s at Florida State and current Philadelphia Eagle stated “there were three of us in the car, not just one as has been reported. Myself and Jameis were in the backseat. I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true.”
Recently the third person who was supposedly in the car got identified as Brandon Banks. He indicated that Winston was alone in the Uber with his accuser.
Also, Banks made clear that there were two Uber rides with two different women driving. The trio went to a club together and when Winston reportedly became “unruly” he got sent home in the second Uber alone.
Noteworthy is that Banks is now in jail after being convicted of aggravated rape and battery. He was out on bail at time of the groping incident involving Winston. According to Banks’ attorney Darby was a friend and Winston an “acquaintance.” Which likely explains how Winston went to a club with him and Darby.
It’s hard to fathom that a former teammate and friend wouldn’t clue Winston in about Banks especially after his own history with dealing with the opposite sex.
For the Buccaneers, it’s troubling that their franchise quarterback again put himself in a situation that required investigation. The NFL certainly got swayed with the new evidence hence the suspension coming and it’s not likely Winston’s camp will appeal it.
As usual, he’s getting off lightly.
Tampa Bay’s best option is to release him even it means eating the rest of Winston’s salary. The organization knew what it was getting when he got drafted No.1 overall and since arriving he’s continually put himself in the spotlight and not in a positive way.
For some reason, the Buccaneers ownership still has no problem with standing behind Winston. Even though there’s more and more calls for him to get released.
Also, with the #MeToo movement at the forefront, the NFL has again failed to severely punish a player. Last year there was nothing added to Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension even though there was video of him lifting a woman’s shirt up exposing her breasts and now Winston who is only getting three games for grabbing the Uber driver’s crotch.