Winston apologizes, says he has eliminated alcohol from his life.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has officially been suspended for three games for violating the league's personal conduct policy, stemming from an alleged incident with an Uber driver in Scottsdale, Arizona, in March 2016.
Winston released the following statement after being informed of his suspension, wherein he apologizes to the Uber driver and says he has eliminated alcohol from his life.
“The NFL informed me today that I will be suspended for the first three games of the season.
First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in. It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize. In the past 2 1/2 years my life has been filled with experiences, opportunities and events that have helped me grow, mature and learn, including the fact that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.
I know I have to hold myself to a higher standard on and off the field and that I have a responsibility to my family, community, and teammates to live above the platform with which God has blessed me. I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season. Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.
I now look forward to putting this behind me and I will continue to work hard every day to be a positive influence in my community and be the best person, teammate and leader I can be.”
The alleged incident first surfaced in November 2017, after Buzzfeed published a report in which a female uber driver accused Winston of grabbing her crotch. According to the report, the driver, identified as Kate, says she picked up Winston and some friends in Scottsdale, Arizona at around 2am in March of 2016, and the Bucs QB hopped in the front seat. He was allegedly shouting homophobic slurs at pedestrians before he requested to stop at a drive thru.
According to Buzzfeed, while waiting in line at the drive-thru of Los Betos Mexican Food, Jameis allegedly reached over, grabbed the driver's crotch and held his hand there for three to five seconds and removed it only after she looked up in shock and said, “What’s up with that?”
“I wasn't just creeped out. I was frozen.” She described Winston as “very physically imposing.”
“I mean he's an NFL quarterback and I’m 5 ft 6. I’m not prepared for that. So I completely froze.”
The Bucs open up the season in New Orleans, followed by home games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently listed as the backup on Tampa Bay's depth chart.