Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, known for such things as stealing crab legs and being accused of rape, took time from his offseason to speak to an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Winston could have done a little better while he was there.
It started well enough, as Winston was trying to impart his love of God, school and the idea that “I can do anything I put my mind to” into the kids. Maybe you don’t want some football dude coming to your school and talking to your kids about God, but hey, his heart is in the right place.
Then the kids started getting rowdy and bored because who wants to listen to some stranger talk to you about God, and Winston said some stuff about “ladies” that wasn’t great, particularly considering his past. From the story:
Things went wrong when a few students appeared to be bored.
“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down,” Winston said. “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 (in deep voice). 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 (are) 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!”
This is so on the nose that you’d think this was a joke. All that’s missing is Winston screaming, “And now let’s walk like crabs!” But again, you’ve got a dude coming to your school and telling your daughters that God rules and also it’s your place to be silent and gentle. This isn’t good no matter who is doing the talking but it’s particularly troubling from Winston.
Is it possible Winston is just being misunderstood here? He says women are “supposed to be silent, polite, gentle.” Maybe there was a second part of the message here he says, “But you don’t have to be!” and the note card got lost?
That’s not how some parents felt.
The antennas of several adults went up in the room. We heard from a few who were bothered by it, but didn’t want to talk publicly. The principal said it was a really good day for Melrose and perhaps, overall, she is right.
She is not right. This is not good. It comes off more of a reflection of how Winston views women more than him misspeaking or not conveying a grander point in a better way.