A deeper look into Jameis Winston’s classroom speech

Mar 24, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws out the first pitch before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get started, I just wanted to clarify that I understand there will be many people who disagree with my point of view and perception of what occurred in that classroom. I do want to reiterate that I do respect EVERYONE’s opinion and to take mine with a grain of salt.

Before the 2015 draft, I wanted Marcus Mariota. I had watched the ladder part of both his and Jameis’s final years at Oregon and FSU. I have to admit that I was initially deterred from Winston as our Quarterback. This was due to his negative reputation and constant headlines. I spent a lot of time from January to April researching both prospects and viewing highlights. I wanted them to get this right…

Everything changed for me during his simultaneous interview with Marcus at the combine. I was impressed by his articulate, humorous personality. Marcus, on the other hand, was very dry and sort of mumbled. It was difficult for me to picture him leading a team, unlike Jameis. Since that point in time, I have watched dozens of interviews, lectures, and speeches that Jameis has given. I have never again second-guessed his integrity or values.

I knew that his play was not the only thing that should be scrutinized. Jameis’s controversy in college indicated that his offseason behavior should also be closely followed. Many players can perform on the field, but it’s what they do off of it that can impact their performance or career as well. I have to say, I have been extremely impressed by how he has conducted himself since drafted. There has rarely been a peep out of the media about him…until now.

I can understand how people who are unaware of his character/personality may have taken what he had said out of context. Especially when you factor in all of the storylines associated with him in the past. However, those people don’t know a thing about this guy.

Now I know many of you are immediately thinking about FSU but I am not going to divulge into the accusations from his former classmate because that is certain to ruffle a lot of feathers. Let’s just say considering all the overwhelming evidence and testimonies in Jameis’s favor that I have reviewed, I feel as though he is innocent.

If you had watched the video, there are many different conclusions that could be drawn about what the idea was that he was attempting to translate to the children. However, it seems clear to me what his intent was. There were a few boys in the back of the classroom that were acting-up and ignoring what he was saying. He addressed them and instructed them to stand up in order to garner their attention. He actively engaged all of the boys to include them in his speech. While doing so, he asked for them to be loud, as young men naturally are. He subtly mentioned that ladies are “supposed to be silent, polite, gentle”.

I don’t know about you but I took it as he was commending the girls on how well-behaved they were while accentuating typical feminine features that are admirable. It may be a conservative perspective, but it’s not one that I am discouraged by. I agree it’s not a good-look considering his prior tribulations, however the malicious intent or even subliminal messaging wasn’t present as many people think.

I am biased in this instant but if it’s to the point where a single sentence in a forty-minute speech in the past two years of his career is being this heavily scrutinized, I don’t think this guy stands a chance and it’s really unfortunate. I am somewhat embarrassed that I have to write this article to try and clear his name. Many have already developed their preconceived notions about Jameis’s character. His haters are stubborn and unfortunately for him, only base their opinions off of headlines. The reaction and negative publicity resulting because of this is ridiculous, but hey it’s the offseason and they need something to write about…I guess.

Why not write about the fact Jameis is still pursing his bachelor’s degree? Or the fact that he is mentoring Miami’s young quarterback? Oh, they did? Sooo people just choose to focus on negativity instead of the big picture? Got it.

I bet those same people fail to realize he was volunteering his free time during the offseason to lecture these kids at school about morals and values. What is your Quarterback doing this week?

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