Jameis Winston went out on his own prerogative to deliver a speech Wednesday (Feb. 22) morning to a group of elementary school students in the Tampa Bay, Fla. area. The 40-minutes of motivation was going well as Winston is known as a savant with his orating skills, but faced a slip-up toward the end with a poor choice of words regarding men, women and their gender roles.
“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down, 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. 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 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!”
I’ll get crushed, but as a woman, I don’t have a prob w/ Jameis Winston. He was trying to do something positive in community. Misspoke
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) February 23, 2017
The 23-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneer has since issued a statement regretting his word choice. Winston acknowledged how his statement could be taken out of context, but that was not his intent.
“I was making an effort to interact with a young male in the audience who didn’t seem to be paying attention, and I didn’t want to single him out, so I asked all the boys to stand up,” Winston said, according to the newspaper. “During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some.”
Our President was caught on tape talking about “grabbing women by the pussy” but y’all are outraged by Jameis Winston
— John B (@johnnyBonz) February 23, 2017
The former Florida State Seminole has been a positive role model in the Florida community, which rebuilt his reputation that was blemished during his college days. Some people realized this was just a small mistake from Winston, who had good intentions during his visit with the youth. Detroit Lion wide receiver Golden Tate came to the defense of Winston, saying he is not sexist. Watch the speech below, courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.