Jameis Winston can do and say anything he puts his mind to
An entitled athlete’s speech at an elementary school promotes sexist stereotypes
February 23, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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Infamous Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Jameis Winston made an appearance at Melrose Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Florida and delivered a blatantly sexist and demeaning speech while speaking to a group of students.
“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down,” Winston said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong. We strong, right?”
Winston played college football for the Florida State Seminoles and became the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. However, he has since been beaten out by Lamar Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 and is five days younger than Winston.
Winston helped his team win the final game of the 2014 Bowl Championship Series and was drafted as the first overall pick by the Buccaneers in the 2015 National Football League Draft.
A Fox Sports timeline tracks the numerous controversial incidents involving Winston.
It reported that on Nov. 25, 2012, Winston and another student brought BB guns to the Florida State University campus and were firing at squirrels. In 2013, Winston was caught stealing soft drinks from a Burger King. In 2014, Winston was caught stealing crab legs from a grocery store in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2015, a documentary called “The Hunting Ground” retold a sexual assault investigation that was opened in 2014 allegedly involving Winston while he was a student at Florida State University. In the film, a female student named Erica Kinsman retold the series of events of the night Winston allegedly sexually assaulted her. Winston was not arrested or charged with a crime, and the civil lawsuit was dropped.
These are only a few of the incidents involving Winston. Here we are in 2017, and Winston’s name is in the media yet again for abusing his status and perpetuating the degradation of women.
When will enough be enough? The list of incidents continues to grow, and Winston’s apologies are continuously contradicted and invalidated by his controversial actions.
He said and the students echoed, “I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Winston is clearly speaking for himself, because he consistently does whatever he wants and suffers little consequences along the way.
“But the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle,” Winston said. “But 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.”
There is nothing wrong with encouraging students to believe in themselves, but one key part of Winston’s speech is unforgivable and unforgettable: nobody should be told that they should be silent. By singling out the girls in the room and telling them that they should not utilize their voices, Winston is perpetuating a sexist culture with stereotypical gender roles.
Winston reflected on what he said to the class, and the Tampa Bay Times reported Winston saying he used poor word choice.
“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.”
Here is, yet again, another apology from Winston that makes me wonder when his apologies will finally lose their meaning.
Standing in front of a classroom of young minds, Winston publicly said that girls and boys should act differently. Winston is no stranger to controversy. You would think that he would be more careful when talking about gender roles, especially while in a public setting.
Nobody should be told to be silent or act differently based on their gender, regardless of the fame or accomplishments of the person telling them. Actions may speak louder than words, but the words spoken by Winston were heard loud and clear and prove that his attitude, actions and feelings of entitlement have yet to change.