Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston put his foot in his mouth in a major, major way.
Winston spoke with a group of students at Melrose Elementary Schools in St. Petersburg, Florida. During his speech, he asked the male students to stand up while directing the female students stay in their seats.
According to a report by the Tampa Bay Times, what came next was a lesson in stereotypical gender roles.
“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down. 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?” Winston said. “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.”
Winston later apologized for his words. He said he was trying to motivate an individual student without singling him out.
“I was making an effort to interact with a young male in the audience who didn’t seem to be paying attention, and I didn’t want to single him out, so I asked all the boys to stand up,” Winston said. “During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some.”
Forget poor. Winston’s choice of words was downright destitute to say the least, given his history.
In December 2012, he was accused of sexually assaulting a female student during his redshirt season at Florida State.
Winston was never charged in the incident and Florida State found insufficient evidence to charge him with a violation of the student conduct code. He led the Seminoles to a 13-0 regular season and victory over Auburn in the final BCS National Championship over Auburn.
In December, Winston settled a federal lawsuit filed by his accuser. Florida State paid Winston’s accuser $950,000 in January 2016 to settle a lawsuit filed against the school for its handling of her Title IX complaint.