Friday, 01 May 2015 12:47
Jameis Winston, now Tampa Bay's new NFL problem child
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crab-winstonThe first selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL draft was former Heisman Trophy winner and Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston. It was no surprise to the analysts who predicted Winston would be chosen due to his superior athletic talent. Undoubtedly, Winston is a gifted athlete, but he also comes with a tremendous amount of baggage. 


Winston was accused of rape by a Florida State student, who is now suing him and Florida State University. While he was exonerated by local prosecutors and the university, the investigation was a total sham. Winston was never questioned by authorities and a video of the incident was never subpoenaed by law enforcement officials. In her lawsuit, the alleged victim, Erica Kinsman, maintains that Winston falsely imprisoned, raped and assaulted her in an off-campus apartment in 2012. 

The detailed lawsuit also included multiple witness statements verifying Kinsman’s charges against Winston. According to David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, Kinsman’s chances of prevailing are “good,” due to the large amount of specific information included in the lawsuit. Kinsman’s attorney, John Klune believes that Winston is “an entitled athlete who believes he can take what he wants. He took something here that he was not entitled to and he hurt someone." 

The lawsuit was filed just two weeks ago, but Winston is not concerned. He posted a celebratory picture on Instagram after his draft selection. It showed the star athlete in front of a plate of crab legs. This is particularly insulting since Winston was cited for shoplifting crab legs from a Publix store in Tallahassee in 2014. The picture indicates that Winston believes he can do whatever he wants with no consequences. It shows his immaturity and disdain for lawful behavior. 

The new member of the Tampa Bay Bucs is no stranger to the criminal justice system. In 2012, he was detained by Florida State University police for using a BB gun to shoot squirrels near the campus. In 2013, he was accused of stealing soda from a Burger King restaurant. Last year, he was suspended for a half of a game for shouting profane comments about women at the student union. 

In all of these cases, Winston was able to evade justice due to his celebrated status. No one in the Tallahassee area is going to arrest Winston for anything short of a serious violent crime. It shows once again that there is a double standard of justice and star athletes are treated with kid gloves in many cases. 

Now, Winston is the project of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Hopefully, he can turn his life around and become a person of integrity. Sadly, his track record shows he will continue to use bad judgment and he could very well turn into another NFL embarrassment. 

Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at Ringside Politics.

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