NFL Investigation Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston
The NFL is officially investigating an incident involving Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.
An Uber driver alleges that she was groped by Winston in March of last year, according to Talal Ansari of BuzzFeed News.
NFL investigator Lisa Friel wrote in a letter to the alleged victim that an investigation is underway.
“The League has been informed that you may have been the victim of such a violation perpetrated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Jameis Winston,” the letter reads. “The league takes allegations of this nature very seriously and has opened an investigation into this matter.”
The Uber driver, whom is simply referred to as Kate, picked up Winston early on a Sunday morning. Winston was placed into the front seat of the car by friends even though he was the only passenger.
Kate agreed to take Winston to get fast food and alleges that Winston placed his hand on her crotch while they were waiting in the drive-thru.
Winston’s representative, Russ Spielman, issued a statement denying the allegations:
“We categorically deny this allegation. It is our understanding the Uber driver was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged in to this is that his Uber account was used to call the ride.”
Uber has permanently banned Winston from using their service and a spokesperson took to Twitter to comment on the matter.
“The behavior the driver reported is disturbing and wrong,” the statement read, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
“The rider was permanently removed from the app shortly after we learned of the incident.”
Winston released a statement as well, and while he does not deny being the person Kate picked up he denies that he was in the front seat when the alleged incident occurred.
“(Buzzfeed’s story) falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her,” Winston said, via Twitter.
“The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.
“I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false. While I am certain I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way.”
The Bucs have since released a statement on the matter.
“We are in the process of obtaining further information regarding today’s media report,” the team said in a statement. “We take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL.”