Publix disputes Jameis Winston’s new complimentary crab legs story
One of Jameis Winston’s most notoriously amusing — albeit not most concerning — misstep made during his time at Florida State revolved around his alleged shoplifting of crab legs from Publix.
The crab legs incident has again reared its ugly claw once again, and it has spawned a case of “he said-regional supermarket chain said,” as Winston now insists he did not technically shoplift the seafood.
During an appearance on ESPN’s “Draft Academy,” Winston said that an arrangement had been made between himself and a Publix employee that supposedly allowed him to take the crab legs without paying.
“Well, a week before it was my buddy’s birthday and we had got a cake and we met a dude that worked inside Publix and he said, ‘Hey, anytime you come in here, I got you.’ So that day we just walked out and he hooked us up with that,” Winston told Jim Harbaugh on the program, per CBS Sports. “And when I came in to get crab legs, I did the same thing and he just gave them to me and I walked out. And someone from inside the store had told the security that I didn’t pay for them. And that’s how the whole thing started.”
Publix has responded in kind to strongly dispute Winston’s recent recollection of the events, indicating that from their investigation, no such arrangement had been made, suggesting, “[t]here is absolutely no information that corroborates Jameis’ story.”
Further, a Publix rep told TMZ the company “never came across any evidence that suggests there was an arrangement that Mr. Winston or any other FSU athlete had with an employee.”
In the wake of the incident, the ex-Seminoles quarterback was issued a civil citation for his “supposed” pilfering of the $32 worth of seafood but no criminal charges were filed related to the matter. However, he was briefly suspended from the Florida State baseball team as a result of the incident.
Winston referred to what happened as a “moment of youthful ignorance” in an apology he made shortly afterward.