Bucs: Jameis Winston ‘made a mistake’ during speech at school
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday addressed the controversy surrounding Jameis Winston’s recent speech to elementary schoolchildren, acknowledging the quarterback “made a mistake.”
Winston came under fire for assigning stereotypical gender roles to the boy and girl students in a speech to a fifth-grade class at Melrose Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Fla. In his speech, Winston said, among other things, that boys are “supposed to be strong” while girls are “supposed to be silent, polite, gentle.”
The shadow cast by Winston’s sexual assault scandal at Florida State troubled many critics of his comments. Although Winston has since apologized for making a “poor word choice.”
On Wednesday, it was the Buccaneers organization’s turn to address the issue, with both head coach Dirk Koetter and general manager Jason Licht defending the quarterback while speaking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“Obviously the situation with the school last week, in the midst of a school presentation, Jameis, he made a mistake,” Koetter said, via ESPN. “And he owned up to that mistake. He’s 23 years old. I think anyone who has to stand behind a microphone and talk to a group of people, you’re going to make mistakes from time to time. There’s been other ones in the sports world very recently.”
Licht echoed similar sentiments.
“He unfortunately made a mistake, used a poor word choice. He knows it. He owned it,” Licht said. “We are fully supportive of Jameis. I could sit here and talk for hours about how much we love Jameis Winston. From ownership to everyone in the building, we fully support Jameis.”
Koetter continued to sing Winston’s praises, both on and off the field, saying the 23-year-old is “trying to do good things out there — whether it be improve himself, help our team get better or do something good in the community,” he added.
While that may in fact be the case, it warrants mentioning this wasn’t even the first time Winston had separate messages for boys and girls while giving a speech to schoolchildren. The hope is that Winston learned an important lesson this time around.