Jameis Winston: A Bad Role Model
Note: This post was edited 10/27/14 to add Winston’s suspension from the FSU baseball team due to the crab leg theft. And to remove the statement that anyone not a star would be in jail now. Without enough evidence to charge Winston with rape, most certainly, the other criminal mischief that he’s been involved with would not send him or any other person to jail. However, I am certain that the criminal mischief with which he’s been involved would have caused him to be removed from UCF sports as outlined below.
Note: Edited again 11/9/14 to comment on the FSU code of conduct hearing.
Jameis Winston’s actions have garnered him attention that will have a lasting impact on the future of our youth. He has single-handedly taught our youth that they can partake in criminal activities, but be above the law if they are talented enough to lead a team to a national championship, or maybe two. Constant denial of Winston’s criminal actions allows him to continue to set a horrible example for our youth. Let’s talk about his “record” that isn’t a record because he hasn’t been charged. To be clear, the police reports indicate that there is not enough evidence to charge him with rape.
- Fact – November 2012 – Questioned by police when 13 windows were shot with a BB gun in his apartment complex. Manager dropped the charges when arrangements were made for players to split the $4,200 repair cost. Although Winston denied involvement in this particular BB gun battle, he did admit to involvement in similar incidents at other times.
- Alleged – December 2012 – Raped an 18-year-old Florida State student.
- Fact – Winston’s DNA was found in the alleged rape victim’s underwear. Winston says the two had consensual sex.
- Fact – Cheated on his girlfriend, if the sex was consensual.
- Fact – July 2013 – Burger King manager identified Winston as one of three teenagers stealing soda. Audio here.
- Fact – April 2014 – Stole crab legs from a grocery store. Video here. Suspended for three baseball games until he paid for the crab legs and completed 20 hours of community service.
- Fact – September 2014 – Stood on a table shouting “F&*k her right in the p&$$y.” FSU suspended Jameis for one football game as a result of the obscenity.
For those of you who don’t know, the obscene phrase above came about when a video hoax was posted on YouTube by John Cain. He pretended to be a reporter who was asked about a 20-year-old missing woman. He responded with the above obscenity. The video has gone viral and the obscenity has become a trend. It even has its own acronym, FHRITP. Right. It’s just another example of misguided glorification of bad behavior.
But, I digress. Let’s get back to Winston. When evidence exists to charge Winston of the crimes listed above, why hasn’t he been charged? Face it. Sports figures are often allowed to be above the law even though they are role models. It’s just that some of the examples that they set are way out of line. And in Winston’s case, it is an outright shame that he is not being held accountable for his actions. And Florida Statue University’s actions have proven that its stars are above the law.
I invite you to take a look at the school’s Garnet and Gold standard. Do you think Winston lives up to the example? In case you didn’t click the link, I quote the website here, “The Florida State University is a diverse community with a longstanding tradition of respect for the dignity and worth of each person. While we recognize the importance of differing opinions and informed debate for a dynamic learning environment, we also expect each member of our community to embrace the values of civility and ethical conduct and share in the responsibility to promote these values.”
Wait, a moment, you say? Winston hasn’t been convicted of any crimes. Well, let’s put him on trial, but move it to some other city. We’ll be fair. We won’t take it to Gainesville, the home of FSU’s largest rivalry. Let’s take it to a town where parents care who their children are idolizing, without rivalries potentially causing an unfair trial.
For an opposing example of teaching students and athletes right from wrong, let’s look at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando. My husband graduated from UCF, and we are avid fans having followed the team for nearly 25 years. UCF players who get in trouble face the consequences immediately. One player was kicked off the team for having marijuana. It was his first offense. Another player was kicked off the team for stealing a wallet. It was also his first offense. More recently, a player was suspended for the rest of the season (11 games) when he was arrested for a DUI. The University of Central Florida and its coaches hold the players to the standard for which they want the school to be known.
To wrap this up, I want to admit that I don’t have children, but I have a niece and four nephews. I wouldn’t want any of them to look at Winston as a role model. My suggestion would be that you find an opportunity to talk to your children about loyalty to your school, and right from wrong. Then they will understand that you do not condone the actions taken by Winston, certain FSU coaches or FSU’s President. But, they will also understand that it is okay to be a fan of the team members, coaches and faculty who are good role models. It would also be appropriate to discuss the concept of innocent until proven guilty, and that suspects are supposed to be provided a trial in an expedient manner. And, just so you know, I would have posted the same exact comments about any athlete at any campus under these same circumstances.
11/9/14 comments: FSU has now decided to open a code of conduct hearing, but it is about the rape accusations. The DA has already determined that there isn’t sufficient evidence to charge Winston. And the hearing, will be anything but a fair and impartial hearing. Winston’s attorney will not be allowed to speak unless the judge permits. There are over 1,000 pages of documents to review and the hearing was set for the week of November 17th. I don’t know anyone who could prepare that quickly and who should be expected to speak without the representation of an attorney. Winston’s attorney was right to file for a delay.