Back in November, we all learned that Jameis Winston was being accused of sexual assault by an Uber driver who said the Bucs’ quarterback had groped her as she was driving him and his friends through a drive-thru.
I started driving, and right away, Jameis behaved poorly said Kate, the driver. He reached over and he just grabbed my crotch. Kate went on to say that he left it there for a few seconds and removed it after she said Whats up with that?
Winston and his team immediately released a statement, adamantly denying the accusation.
“We categorically deny this allegation. It is our understanding the Uber driver was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged in to this is that his Uber account was used to call the ride.”
After politicking, statements and an investigation over the next seven months, it appears the truth has come out.
Today the NFL slapped Winston with a three game suspension, one that Winston accepted, issuing the following statement per Ian Rappaort:
The NFL informed me today that I will be suspended for the first three games of the season.
First and foremost, I would like to say Im sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in. It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize. In the past 2 1/2 years my life has been filled with experiences, opportunities and events that have helped me grow, mature and learn, including the fact that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.
I know I have to hold myself to a higher standard on and off the field and that I have a responsibility to my family, community, and teammates to live above the platform with which God has blessed me. I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season. Although I am disappointed in the NFLs decision, I understand the NFLs process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.
I now look forward to putting this behind me and I will continue to work hard every day to be a positive influence in my community and be the best person, teammate and leader I can be.
The Bucs also issued their own statement, expressing their disappointment with their QB.
Buccaneers Statement On Jameis Winston: https://t.co/MvgEDnQur1
Yet what still remains in question (once again) is the NFL’s punishment. Winston accepted the decision and essentially admitted to what he was accused of, yet he only gets a three-game suspension? Meanwhile Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension, Ray Rice originally received a two-game suspension for knocking out his fiancee and Robert Mathis received a four game suspension for taking a banned substance. This is proof how random and unbalance the NFL’s system of punishment is.
It appears that having evidence against you and admitting to the crime is actually better for NFL players as the NFL will render a lighter sentence. It’s no wonder the League continues to be ridiculed for its punishments and persists to have an issue with domestic violence and assault. Winston’s suspension is a perfect example of why Deborah Epstein resigned from their committee on domestic violence, and until those in charge decide to really bring the Mjolnir hammer down on those cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, we will continue to see cases like Jameis every season.