Jameis Winston was officially informed on Thursday that he will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback responded by issuing a statement of apology.
In a post on Facebook, Winston apologized to the Uber driver who accused him of sexually assaulting her for “the position I put you in.” He also vowed to hold himself to a higher standard going forward.
“First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in,” Winston wrote. “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.”
Winston has been accused of inappropriately touching an Uber driver in Arizona back in 2016. The woman went public with the allegations last year, claiming Winston grabbed her crotch without consent in a drive-through line at a fast food restaurant. Ronald Darby, Winston’s former teammate at Florida State, vouched for the QB and said he was also in the car and that nothing happened. However, details that have been pieced together make it seem like Winston took a separate Uber ride that same night without Darby, which is when the alleged incident took place.
Winston was not charged in the incident, but the NFL decided to suspend him anyway after an independent investigation.