It was seven months ago that we first learned that a female Arizona Uber driver had accused Bucs QB Jameis Winston in March of 2016 of having inappropriately touched her in the front seat of her vehicle. Seven months later, we are no closer to knowing the status of, much less the conclusion of, the NFL’s “investigation” in the situation.
And, today Winston, the Buccaneers and everyone paying attention, has learned that the NFL met with the Lions and their new coach Matt Patricia about a sexual assault allegation against Patricia, when he was a college student in 1996. Oh, and they concluded that “investigation” and cleared the Lions and Patricia of any wrongdoing in his hiring.
Patricia first publicly denied the 22 year old allegation and charges on May 10th at a press conference in Detroit.
The NFL ruled less than two weeks later.
Seems a little silly doesn’t it?
And, the NFL in it’s statement today basically laid out that they were only really investigating whether anything was inappropriate in the hiring of Patrica, the former Patriots defensive coordinator, in February.
The NFL found that Matt Patricia did not lead the #Lions and the team complied with all employment laws. Allegation was from 1996, so not subject to personal conduct policy. Full statement from @NFLprguy: pic.twitter.com/fDt3NHMw7Z
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 21, 2018
Essentially, the league is saying Patricia wasn’t compelled to volunteer information about his arrest and being charged, and ultimately the charges being dismissed. And, that it was the Lions responsibility to ask him or do a background check, and they obviously didn’t, before they hired him.
Back to the Bucs and Winston, it’s a “common sense” situation. You have an accuser and you have Winston and his side. It’s not only reasonable, it’s now laughable, to think that the NFL could not have met with both sides separately by now, and sorted out what they believe did or didn’t happen.
Either, she is credible, has evidence and witnesses to support her or he’s more credible with evidence and witnesses to support him. Then, you make a decision.
This is further important to the Bucs on the field, as they need to know if Winston is subject to suspension and if so, how long? Especially, if it were to be a multiple game suspension.
Oh, and if they accuser has been uncooperative with the NFL, which we don’t know one way or the other, the NFL at this point should say that. And because she never filed criminal or civil charges, you have to be fair also to Winston, and clear him.
Again, it’s all unknown.
What we do know: the NFL wanted to move quickly to absolve itself of punishing Patricia and the Lions for his hiring.
And, they did it in 11 days.
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