This will be short. This will be sweet.
This past week we have been reminded of the issues facing communities in this great nation that face oppression. Whether that’s all from outside forces or some of it created by inside forces (They say we can be our own worst enemy sometimes.) is for people much wiser than myself to debate. What I do know is this…anger festers, it boils and it is ugly and it doesn’t think for one moment about the consequences of its actions.
Which brings me to the point of this little blog post. I am angry this morning. I am angry at FSU, angry at the NFL and most of all, angry at this kid named Winston. I was already angry last night when that coveted first round draft pick was offered to this kid by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Today….I wake up and see how he mocked the entire nation by eating crab for his celebratory dinner. He mocked every kid out there who day in, day out…works hard and does the right thing. That kid is sitting at the breakfast table today seeing this “star” mock all those that tried to bring justice. “It’s ok if you commit crimes, we are going to look the other way and reward you will millions. It’s ok if you commit crimes, we are going to let you be the star on the field at the college game on Saturday.”
That’s the message sent to every kid in America last night and this morning by Winston, the NFL, Tampa Bay and FSU. Doing the wrong thing gets rewarded if you are a star athlete.
I’m typically not a fan of Fox News…but they did have a very good timeline of the known behaviors…that were just rewarded with millions of dollars last night. Maybe I am the only one upset today….I pray that’s not true. I hope that we, as American’s, have not become so jaded we view rewarding a history of events ok. Is this really what the NFL and college football are about? The almighty dollar….without regard to the message it sends to our youth? Off soapbox now. I believe I need a lot of coffee for today.
Directly from Fox News:
Nov. 25, 2012: A woman calls 911 to report that there are two men on a bike path on the Florida State University campus with what appears to be a black, long-barreled pistol. Police respond and draw their guns as they approach Jameis Winston and his roommate and teammate, Chris Casher, and ultimately handcuff them. The two tell the officer they were shooting at squirrels with a pellet gun, and they are released without charges being filed.
Nov. 25, 2012: A few hours after the incident on the bike path, Winston, Casher and two other Florida State players, Mario Edwards and Kenneth “P.J.” Williams, allegedly engage in a BB- and pellet-gun battle at their apartment house, inflicting an estimated $4,000 in damage. Management at the apartment house declines to press criminal charges after an FSUathletic official vows that the players will pay for the damage.
Dec. 7, 2012: Winston is accused of raping a woman at his off-campus apartment. The woman reports the assault to police that day and five weeks later calls a detective and identifies Winston as her attacker after seeing him in a class. Tallahassee police drop the investigation, contending the woman has refused to cooperate, then revive it nine months later and sent it to State Attorney Willie Meggs. Meggs conducts a new investigation but concludes that there is not enough evidence to file criminal charges. Winston’s lawyer contends the sexual encounter was consensual. The U.S. Department of Education later launches a federal investigation of the school’s handling of the incident after questions arise about whether Florida State followed the provisions of Title IX, and in August 2014 the school launches an investigation of Winston under the student code of conduct.
July 21, 2013: Winston is accused of entering a Burger King in Tallahassee and helping himself to soda from the fountain machine without paying for it. A restaurant employee later tells police she gave Winston a cup of water but that he poured the water out and helped himself to several cups of soda despite her objections. No charges are filed.
April 29, 2014: Winston is accused of stealing $32.72 worth of crab legs from a Tallahassee supermarket. He is given a civil citation that allows him to perform community service and is suspended from the FSU baseball team until he completes that work. Winston tells police he “forgot” to pay for the crab legs and publicly apologizes.
May 20, 2014: Winston is expected at a code-of-conduct hearing for Chris Casher and Ronald Darby, two FSU teammates who alleged the witnessed a portion of the sexual encounter involving the quarterback and the woman who accused him of rape. They are both accused of violating school rules. Winston does not show up for the hearing, and his lawyer contends that no one from the school ever asked him to be there – something that is disputed by attorneys involved in the process. However, FSU officials later acknowledge that they have no way to force a witness to attend a code-of-conduct hearing.
Sept. 16, 2014: Winston is seen by several students jumping up on a table on campus and screaming a sexually charged expletive-laced phrase that was made popular on the internet. FSU head football coach Jimbo Fisher suspends Winston for the first half of the team’s upcoming game with Clemson, and school officials vow that he will be subject to “internal discipline” – most likely under the school’s code of conduct. Winston apologizes.
UPDATE FROM FOX SPORTS:
Oct. 13, 2014: ESPN reports that FSU’s compliance department is investigating whether Winston accepted money in exchange for autographs. The university’s athletic director issues a statement on Oct. 17, explaining that the compliance staff looking into whether Jameis Winston accepted unauthorized benefits for his autograph has “no information indicating that he accepted payment for items reported to bear his signature, thereby compromising his athletics eligibility.”