Ugly accusations follow Winston once again

by Gary Shelton on November 18, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Winston faces accusations from driver./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston faces accusations from driver./CARMEN MANDATO

Saturday, 2 a.m.

The lesson is this: Charges are forever.

They do not wear out. They do not go away. No one forgets, and no one forgives. The headlines just settle down for a while, and then they are back, as vicious as ever.

For all of the conclusion-jumping out there, we do not know what happened with the latest accusations about Jameis Winston. Only that they have given new life to the old ones. That's the way it works.

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Domestic violence, as it should be, is a life sentence. As Winston, or Ray Rice, or Greg Hardy, or any of the multitude of stars who have been accused of this deplorable crime, will tell you, all it takes is the hint of another incident, and voila, the old scandals live again, as probably they should.

An Uber driver has accused Winston of groping her. The driver, known only as Kate, says it was in March. She picked up a single driver, and while waiting for fast food, he groped her. Winston, in his denial, says the incident was almost two years ago, and that there were “a number of riders” in the car.

There is a lot of room between the accusation and the denial. But what we do know is this. The rape allegations while Winston was at Florida (he was never charged) immediately resurfaced. So, too, did the crab leg incident, and the BB gun incident. The Tallahassee cops are morons again, either clumsy or conspiratorial.

This was obvious from the day that Winston was drafted. It is true today. If he has any whisper about sexual misconduct from now until well into his 80s, the past is going to bare its teeth again.

You can agree on this: If Winston acted improperly toward an Uber driver, he's an idiot. He had to realize that more headlines were coming.

If it is true, you should have no sympathy for Winston or for the Bucs, who obviously knew of the charges before he was drafted. If it is true, he will not last in Tampa Bay, if he lasts in the league. If it is true, consider your franchise to be starting over.

And if it not true? Then the headlines will die back down, and the accusations will be left in the hands of those who recklessly throw them around. Winston will be talked to about who might be using his name. But the suspicion that he has gotten away with something will linger.

"A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago," Winston said Friday afternoon in a statement released in response to BuzzFeed News report.

"The 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. 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 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," Winston said. "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.""

We live in a world where judgments come before verdicts. And, yes, the idea of a quarterback imposing his will on a driver is objectionable.

Still, I think we owe it to all parties to see how this accusation comes out.

But watch. Read. Follow.

And no matter who you believe today, keep an open mind for tomorrow.

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