Tag Archives: jameis winston school

Some People Never Learn

Jameis Winston is a professional football player with a troubled past.

In November of 2012, police on the Florida State University campus responded to a call about gunfire and encountered Winston and a teammate with their guns literally smoking.  The young men said they had been shooting at squirrels with a pellet gun and were released.

There were no repercussions for Winston’s actions.  After all, he’s a star football player.

Emboldened, the two players went home and engaged in a BB and pellet gun battle in the apartment building where they lived, causing about $4000 worth of damage.  The owner of the building agreed not to press charges when the university said it would pay for the damages.

There were no repercussions for Winston’s actions.  After all, he’s a star football player.

Two weeks later a woman told police she’d been raped and then five weeks later saw Winston in a class and told police he’s the man who raped her.  Police dropped the investigation, only to resume it nine months later at the direction of the state’s attorney.  The new investigation went nowhere and no charges were filed.  By all accounts, the investigation was half-hearted and incompetent – Winston wasn’t even interviewed by the police – because of Winston’s status as a star football player. Even a DNA match of Winston’s semen to that on the assaulted woman did not result in charges. (The woman later sued, and both Winston and the Florida State University paid her a great deal of money to go away.)

There were no repercussions for Winston’s alleged actions.  After all, he’s a star football player.

When the U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation of the manner in which the university handled the complaint – there are federal laws governing how such matters need to be investigated – the university belatedly launched its own investigation.

In July of 2013 Winston was accused of helping himself to a soda at Burger King.  No charges were filed.

There were no repercussions for Winston’s actions.  After all, he’s a star football player.

In April of 2014 Winston was accused of stealing crab legs from a supermarket.  Winston said he forgot to pay for the crab legs, was given a civil citation and directed to perform community service, and was suspended from the university’s baseball team – not from the football team, for which he was the star player.

There were relatively minor repercussions for Winston’s actions.  After all, he’s a star football player.

The following month, Winston failed to appear at a code of conduct hearing for two of his football teammates who had been accused of witnessing the alleged rape reported the previous year.

There were no repercussions for Winston’s actions.  After all, he’s a star football player.

In the summer of 2014 Winston told participants at a summer football camp that one of the perks of being a star quarterback is that you get possession of “all the women.”

There were no repercussions for Winston’s actions.  After all, he’s a star football player.

In September of 2014 Winston jumped onto a table and started screaming a sexually charged, expletive-laced phrase that was popular at the time on the internet.  The school’s football coach suspended him for one half of one football game while the school said it would address the matter through its conduct code.

There were only minor repercussions for Winston’s actions. After all, he’s a star football player.

Naturally, the university wasn’t terribly interested in any of this.  Winston was an outstanding player:  he won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football, he led his team to college football’s national championship for the 2013 season, and he was selected the most valuable player in that game.

As good a player as Winston is, it was not considered a foregone conclusion that he would be the first player chosen in the 2015 draft of college players into the National Football League.  Many professional football experts were concerned about his “character issues,” which are relevant for all players but especially for quarterbacks because in addition to needing to perform their job well ­– quarterback is the most important position in football, and probably in all of team sports – quarterbacks are also expected to be leaders, and based on his flawed judgment, there were serious questions about Winston’s fitness for such a role.  Football is all about winning and about money, though, so Winston was the first player selected in the draft despite his apparent shortcomings in judgment.

One would think Winston might’ve learned something from his past experiences.

One would think.

But alas…

Last month Winston visited an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida and was attempting to inspire the third-,fourth-, and fifth-graders he was addressing when his remarks wandered a little off message:

All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down,” Winston said. “But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to. Now a lot of boys aren’t supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I’m saying? One day y’all are going to have a very deep voice like this (in deep voice). One day, you’ll have a very, very deep voice.

 But the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men (are) supposed to be strong. I want y’all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!

After all, he’s a star football player

It took several hours for someone to catch up to Winston and suggest that his words might’ve been just a tad inappropriate, and of course he had an excuse – just as he always had:  we were just shooting squirrels, the sex was consensual, the guy at the supermarket always let me take whatever I want.  This time, he said he had zeroed in on one inattentive little boy and was just trying to reach him.

Will there be repercussions for Winston’s actions?  It’s doesn’t seem likely.  After all, he’s a star football player.