Jameis Winston realizes his poor choice of words after school speech

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Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston probably meant no harm. But the words that came out of his mouth during a school appearance Wednesday were the kind he probably should have given more consideration to, and his response made that clear.

Via Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times, Winston was talking to a group of third- through fifth-graders at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg, when a group of boys became less than focused on him. So to get their attention, he asked the boys to stand up.

“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down,” Winston said. “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? One day y’all are going to have a very deep voice like this. 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. Scream it!”

The message that kids can achieve anything they want if they work for it is valid and valuable. The message that girls are supposed to be quiet while boys are expected to take the lead took away from that immediately — especially in the context that it was coming from a player who faced sexual assault allegations while at Florida State.

“One of the girls turned around and looked at me and said, ‘I’m strong too,'” said Bonnie Volland, a speech language pathologist at Melrose.

Volland also said that Winston’s speech was well-intentioned and uplifting.

“We’ve been working so hard with our students giving them hopes and dreams and helping them raise their expectations,” she said. “In the beginning, it was so good because he was talking about, ‘You can do it!’ and really giving our students a positive message.”

To his credit, Winston seemed to realize the mistake, and when asked for comment later, said he was trying to keep the attention of the group.

“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.”

It’s easy to suggest it as overblown, or the product of a climate some consider too politically correct. And Winston’s 23.

But telling any group of girls they’re expected to behave differently and have different expectations is something that should have been outdated generations ago, and Winston’s gaffe ought to remind everyone to think about the words they choose, and the messages they’re sending, even if they’re inadvertent.

74 responses to “Jameis Winston realizes his poor choice of words after school speech

  1. So we have learned the following:

    It can be difficult talking to a group of third graders.

    Winston may have erred, but in acknowledging his error, he provides a learning opportunity for all.

    After reading this, I think more of Winston, not less.

  2. Nope, those were Winston’s actual beliefs. Men are strong and take what they want and women are supposed to just shut up.

    Winston should never have been allowed to play in the NFL. Remember when Goodell suspended Terrell Pryor for actions in college?

  3. To be honest when i first read it, i didnt see an issue, i interpreted it as ‘“But the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. …I want y’all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!”

    its defying the stereotype.

    anyway, he acknowledged it as being a poor choice in words, why not commend his awareness and the fact that he is even spending time motivating children.

    I doubt many people who at 23 were millionaires would or could do this in their spare time!

  4. What a stupid excuse and the writer here giving him a pass and being his apologizer.

    1. “To his credit, Winston seemed to realize the mistake”. No, he only realized because he was asked why he said something so stupid and to comment on it.

    2. “It’s easy to suggest it as overblown, or the product of a climate some consider too politically correct.” WTF? Which part of “ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite and gentle” is some PC agenda? That’s just complete idiocy. The statement is just plain wrong and nothing to do with today’s political “climate”.

    3. “And Winston’s 23.” Again, WTF? He’s not a kid anymore. He’s been an adult for enough years to know better.

  5. “…remind everyone to think about the words they choose, and the messages they’re sending, even if they’re inadvertent.”

    Amen.

    Unfortunately, diarrhea of the mouth without fear of consequence is en vogue.

    Thanks, Internet.

  6. Winston was at the school trying to do a good thing–let’s not demonize the man. I doubt that the females in the audience will be adversely affected–people are not the snowflakes that they are made out to be. In fact it is an opportunity for the females to say- hey wait a minute and feel empowered by being able to discuss the issue and act in a way that counters a perception that they feel is wrong. Free speech opens up many opportunities.

  7. If schools are going to invite players to speak to children, it really should be ones who earn their college degrees. I agree that this one is on the school.

  8. Why do we expect athletes to be smart? Of course they say stupid things. They don’t mean anything by it … they’re just not bright or well educated.

  9. Winston’s excuse was that he was trying “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”.

    You want to really complain about PC climate? How about Winston trying to correct a young kid for not paying attention by not calling him out for his wrong behaviour, but hiding it among all the boys. Seriously, how does the boy learn that not paying attention is wrong is he never gets called out/punished for bad behaviour??

  10. He owned up to it. Apologized for his comments without making excuses. My opinion of him just went up.

  11. akira1971 says:

    What a stupid excuse and the writer here giving him a pass and being his apologizer.

    1. “To his credit, Winston seemed to realize the mistake”. No, he only realized because he was asked why he said something so stupid and to comment on it.
    ——————

    To further add to the point, if Winston had really “seemed to realize the mistake”, he would have addressed it DURING his speech and not when he had to be specifically asked about it.

  12. Yea, I think he got caught up in the moment and let his true thoughts come out. Between his chant he got suspended for in his cafeteria, his sexual assault case, and this… I think it’s pretty clear how he feels about women… If he has a daughter one day, hopefully he’ll see things a bit differently.

  13. The Patsfan who thinks more of Winston now is pathetic. This is a dude who got away with rape. Talking to 3rd graders???? Really!! Geez

  14. tonyzendejas says:
    Feb 23, 2017 8:50 AM

    Prediction: this comment section will include at least 20 instances of the term “snowflake.”
    —————————————————————

    I think you’ll hear more crab jokes

  15. factschecker says:

    He owned up to it. Apologized for his comments without making excuses. My opinion of him just went up.
    —————-
    Um, what?? Which part of “effort to interact with a young male” is NOT an excuse for his comment??

    And how did he “owned up” to it? He called it a “poor word choice.” No, a poor word choice is something like saying “homies” instead of boys. What Winston said was wrong as an entire concept that ladies need to be silent and polite. So no, Winston does not “get” it.

  16. Prediction, you must be one

    tonyzendejas says:
    Feb 23, 2017 8:50 AM
    Prediction: this comment section will include at least 20 instances of the term “snowflake.”

  17. Who at the school made the decision, “Jamies Winston should come in and talk to our students”?. He paid a settlement on a rape allegation, the innocent don’t pay to end something they didn’t do.

  18. Um, what?? Which part of “effort to interact with a young male” is NOT an excuse for his comment??
    —–
    Much like most 20-somethings he learned that his view of the world is different than others peoples view of the world. That’s what your 20’s are for. Self discovery.

    You don’t have to agree. I find it refreshing when someone publicly admits that they were wrong. Especially these days where you have so many social media warriors that have never been incorrect about anything in their lives and have never made a mistake.

  19. I love my step-daughter to pieces and value her no less than my son (neither does The Lord). Males and females are different and have different roles. What Jameis originally stated is correct and there is no need to apologize. People find themselves often apologizing for speaking the truth out of fear for the persecution surely to follow. And finally; the King James bible supports his statement…

  20. Sorry, but Winston is probably not the “role model” you want talking to children. Just because a guy happens to be athletic and can play football doesn’t mean he should be put into a position offering life lessons to youths.

  21. Yes, poor choice of words. That happens sometimes when someone speaks without a script. Jaemis speaks with emotion and from the heart. That is why his teammates and many that know him, respect him.

    Sadly, Melrose is one of the worst performing elementary schools in the state. 100% of the children are on free lunch (and breakfast). They have an extended school hours and after school tutoring. They are doing everything possible to change the culture and give these kids a chance to believe in themselves. The stories I have heard from teachers at that school are shocking and heartbreaking. They need all the help they can get.

    If his speech has a lasting positive effect on 1 kid, it was worth it.
    #blamejaemis

  22. Whether you give him the benefit of the doubt or not, this was a sexist move generated by a sexist society.

  23. Statements were a reflection of widely held values of the culture at large, and particularly the competitive sports culture. Amazing Hillary Clinton was even nominated, but the election result was not a surprise. We just haven’t really changed that much, despite the wishful thinking.

  24. Winston was just being honest. That’s the way he really feels. That’s the way a lot of us feel. We don’t come out and say it in public, but our voting patterns speak volumes. Don’t blame Jameis. He’s in the majority.

  25. saltineamerican says:
    Feb 23, 2017 9:57 AM

    Don’t roast the guy for making a mistake.

    Mistakes. It’s plural, which indicates that he is not learning or perhaps doesn’t care to learn. That is why he should never be in front of third graders and why he should be roasted.

  26. @pastabelly says:
    If schools are going to invite players to speak to children, it really should be ones who earn their college degrees. I agree that this one is on the school.

    — it has been reported he is taking classed during the offseason to complete his degree.

    an offseason in which he is spending his time motivating children and other community out reach programmes.

    and why are athletes being derided for not completing their degree. Name me any profession who pays a degree graduate around £10m a year … yeah i think he made the right choice!

  27. @ pastabelly says:
    Feb 23, 2017 9:10 AM

    If schools are going to invite players to speak to children, it really should be ones who earn their college degrees. I agree that this one is on the school.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Your post makes the general and incorrect assumption that having a college degree will ensure an athlete will say and do all the right things. There are predators in schools with college degrees that are supposed to be teaching children but instead a looking to take advantage of them.

  28. @ kcflake says:
    Feb 23, 2017 10:18 AM

    I would not want Winston speaking to my 3rd – 5th grade child. His alleged behavior in college is like, keep that guy away from my kid.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    “Alleged” behavior. You need to be more concerned about other people who have daily access to your kid (if you have any). I’m sure when you were in college, your behavior was always exemplary, right? Sure it was….

  29. Claiming that telling women or girls to sit down and shut up because of their gender is “poor word choice” is despicable and makes you just as culpable as Winston is. This is even worse because you, at least in theory, should be aware that women are not “supposed” to be “silent and polite”. But apparently you agree with Winston, who has shown no evidence that he “realizes” anything different, just that once again he has been caught revealing what he actually thinks about women.

  30. Claiming that telling women or girls to sit down and shut up because of their gender is “poor word choice” is despicable and makes you just as culpable as Winston is.
    ——–
    He never told girls to sit down and shut up. if he did then I’d agree with you. If you have to exaggerate to make a point then maybe you don’t really have a point to make.

  31. If women being “silent, polite, and gentle” is what Winston thinks a woman’s role should be, then that’s on him. The real culprit here is Bonnie Volland, the speech therapist who was in the room. She missed an opportunity to teach the girls in the room that they don’t have to be ” silent, polite, and gentle”

    Bonnie Volland should’ve stood up and spoke up. And encouraged all the girls to stand up. And let Winston know right there and then his attitude toward women wouldn’t be tolerated. And having an elementary female student saying “I’m strong” should’ve been her cue to stand up and say something.

  32. Maybe some of you don’t have a daughter. But you all have mothers. I would hope that you were raise by a strong mother who helped you out when you needed help.

    I hope she didn’t sit on the floor and be ” silent, polite and gentle ” when you needed her to be strong, pushy and vocal.

    It sad in this day and age that men still think so little of females.

    Teach your daughters to not marry the doctor but be the doctor empower them to do it all themselves.

    Maybe just maybe we wouldn’t have so many young mothers working 3 jobs to take care of her ” strong boy” and actual mothers who can teach both their sons and daughters that they are worth more.

  33. whysomanylosers says:
    Feb 23, 2017 10:10 AM

    Yes, poor choice of words. That happens sometimes when someone speaks without a script. Jaemis speaks with emotion and from the heart. That is why his teammates and many that know him, respect him.

    If his speech has a lasting positive effect on 1 kid, it was worth it.
    #blamejaemis
    —————-

    Wait, so Winston having only 1 positive effect on a boy is better than crushing the souls of HALF of the audience (all the girls he told to be silent and polite)??? Seriously, stop being an apologist – what he said was completely wrong.

  34. this should be a lesson to all athletes, never waster your time trying to make a difference in society as the pc police will monitor and jump on your every word and twist it to their agenda and in this case that means taking offense to fit telling a bunch of young impressionable boys that they can be anything they want to be if they set their mind to it. how awful he was gender specific and did not mention girls to. like they really would care what a football player had to say. the only snowflakes are the liberals bitching about what he said.

  35. You expect a rapist to be all that bright?

    What is news is that he didn’t tell the boys that they should be ashamed about being born boys and that the way to go is to want to use the girls’ facilities.

  36. It’s funny how our country is so divided on this. When Donald Trump was exposed for saying, what some people thought were horrible things about women, he actually went up in the polls. Don’t kid yourselves about how people hide their true feelings.

  37. Because being able to throw a football well means you’re more than qualified to work with kids…

    Barkly was right…

  38. Again he was speaking to inner city youth girls who can still be affected to act like how women should act in order to not have males/husbands divorce them down the line which causes multiple affects on society with children etc

  39. 10 – 15 yarns ago, we never would have heard about this, let alone seen a PC reaction to it. No one would have cared and everyone would have understood this guy was talking to 8 year old kids.

    Today, anyone in the public light is monitored 24/7 to see if they say anything they can be bashed for by the PC police. The PC crowd bashes in order to “teach a lesson”. Don’t dare go against PC or you will get the same bashing.

    I see nothing wrong with what he said. I guess I will be labeled as a misogynist for saying that, but Winston did nothing wrong. And I think he is an idiot, but not for talking to kids. Like 8 year olds are going to learn anything from Winston. They wont even remember what he talked about when they grow up. If they even remember him coming to their school.

  40. The young man turned 23 in January. He is on his own time talking to underprivileged school, after growing up underprivileged. It wasn’t a Buccaneer event. he was just there, trying to get kids to believe in themselves, and hamming it up.

    Wow. Maybe he should stop.

    I might if I was dragged through the debate cycle for this.

  41. Not sure of the context he used but he probably meant well. There is a double standard between boys and girls we can’t deny. If a girl falls we suffocate her with empathy and pity. A boy falls and he’s supposed to suck it up and move on…..

  42. Honest mistake, not a big deal. We can’t filter out what the world will show our kids. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to set a good example, but that’s where good parenting comes in.

    I think Winston overall sent a good message to the boys. Not boys vs. girls, but about those boys growing up to take ownership of their own voices. His mistake was that he only aimed it at one part of the audience.

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