Winfield said afterward that he gladly would pay any fine, which ended up being $7,815.
Winfield now is turning the fine into philanthropy by giving a matching amount to the Buccaneers Youth Leadership Program, which entails players and staff members serving as mentors for 25 students at a middle school in Tampa.
The program was launched as part of the team’s Social Justice Initiative.
“Since [the fine] got a lot of media attention, it was out there, and I wanted to just spin it in a way to make it positive,” Winfield told the team’s official website, “and what better way than to give back to the youth leadership program that I did all year? That was kind of how that kind of came about, because I was thinking of different things I could do. I spent the whole year with the kids and talking to them and everything, so I feel like that was a good opportunity to go with those guys.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Fund will match Winfield’s $7,815 donation for a total contribution of $15,630 to the school. For more information or to donate, visit educationfoundation.com.