June 29, 2018 / 10:35 PM / 5 months ago

Uber driver 'glad' to see Buccaneers quarterback Winston disciplined

The Uber driver who accused Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston of groping her in March of 2016 said Friday she is glad the NFL punished Winston after completing its investigation of the incident.

Dec 31, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) drops to throw a pass during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

“I am glad to see the NFL discipline Jameis Winston,” she said Friday in a statement released by her attorney, John Clune. “I do appreciate his apology, even if it needs some work. I would like to publicly acknowledge the NFL Investigators, particularly Lisa Friel and John Iannarelli, for their kind, professional and thorough investigation.

“My experience should highlight the importance of believing women when they have the courage to come forward about sexual assault. Perhaps that night could have been prevented if others had been believed before me.

“Mr. Winston once said, ‘Girls should be silent, polite, and gentle.’ I disagree.”

The statement also included the hashtag “#MeToo.”

The NFL announced a three-game suspension for Winston on Thursday, after a seven-month investigation by the league “concluded that Winston violated the personal conduct policy by touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent and that disciplinary action was necessary and appropriate.”

Winston, 24, accepted the suspension and issued an apology in a statement on Thursday.

“First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in. It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize,” the statement read, in part. “In the past 2 1/2 years my life has been filled with experiences, opportunities and events that have helped me grow, mature and learn, including the fact that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.”

According to an NFL Network report on Thursday, Winston’s apology was part of a negotiated settlement that resulted in the three-game suspension. Per the report, Winston did not admit guilt and told NFL investigators he does not believe he did what was alleged, but he also acknowledged that he does not clearly remember the whole evening after drinking throughout the night.

Winston will be required to obtain a clinical evaluation as part of his punishment. The league said future violations for Winston under the personal-conduct policy will “result in more substantial discipline, including a potential ban from the NFL.”

—Field Level Media

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