Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Photograph: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images
The NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise quarterback, 23-year-old Jamies Winston is being investigated for allegedly grabbing a female Uber driver’s crotch during 2016 in Arizona.
The Uber driver, Kate (remains incognito) stated that Winston behaved poorly from the moment he entered her car, sitting next to her as the only passenger. She went on to claim that Winston allegedly shouted racial slurs at passersby and told her to pull into the Los Betos Mexican Food drive-thru. When she parked in the line, she claims that Winston grabbed her crotch and then she says that Winston kept his hand there for a few seconds until she looked at him and said, "What's up with that?"
Buzzfeed, an online news service managed to get their hands on an NFL letter sent to Kate, it was from Lisa Friel, NFL's special counsel for investigation and it stated.
"The League has been informed that you may have been the victim of such a violation perpetrated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Jameis Winston. The league takes allegations of this nature very seriously and has opened an investigation into this matter."
Although Kate did not make a complaint with the NFL or local authorities, she did put in a report to Uber the following day, and Uber has banned Winston from riding with their services again. The NFL stated that it was looking into the issue and stated to The Guardian news service that "The allegation was shared with the NFL and we have reached out to Uber to request any information they may have." The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also issued a statement to The Guardian: "We are in the process of obtaining further information regarding today's media report. We take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL."
Denise White, Winston's representative at EAG Sports management, stated that "they are adamant that this incident did not occur." They went on to disclaim the incident by stating that, "A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters; I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account."
The young quarterback is a rising star in NFL history as he succeeded going over a 10,000 passing yards career and is a candidate for MVP for the third year running. He was the No 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft.
He has had sexual assault issues in his past, while he was a student at Florida State, although he has never been charged and according to the University had not violated the student code. However, Winston and the plaintiff sorted out their disagreement behind the scenes to the satisfaction of both sides. The FSU also paid out $950,000 to the woman to remove the lawsuit filed against the University.