Right off the bat, Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston was doing a really good thing on Wednesday speaking to and encouraging a group of 3rd-5th graders at Melrose Elementary in St. Pete. He has obviously embraced his role as “Face of the Franchise” for the Bucs, and that part includes willingness to interact with fans and of course, kids, even in the off season.
Winston spoke to the children for over thirty minutes and by all accounts, did a great job in encouraging them to be their best.
Now, the media is honing in on something Winston did, to not only get control of numerous kids who weren’t paying attention, (Welcome to the daily challenge of elementary education in 2017!), but was also simultaneously and genuinely trying to motivate the young boys in the room.
The problem for the adults, in that room and who are now reading and reacting, is that Winston asked the young girls to stay seated and silent, while the young boys stood up and he had them repeat the encouragement he was giving them.
Here’s a full account from Tampa Bay Times writer Tom Jones, who is giving his opinion that what Winston did and said to the girls is wrong. Important, also in this article is the actual video where you can watch the whole interaction with Jameis and the children for yourselves.
Now, national football media and others have begun to pick up on what he did and said, and they want to “weigh in” on it, in part to bring attention to themselves, get clicks on their own takes, Tweets, etc.
That Jameis article is something. His worldview is badly in need of an adjustment.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) February 23, 2017
Jameis Winston admits he chose words poorly after saying girls should be “silent” during a school speech https://t.co/Eb8GhAVSfv
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 23, 2017
Local sports radio in Tampa-St.Pete, also jumped all over it Thursday morning:
Update on Jameis… he says he used a poor choice of words.https://t.co/zfkDtmv8UI
— WDAE (@620wdae) February 23, 2017
And “Mike and Mike” on ESPN Radio Thursday were talking about it briefly, as well.
We at F.F.I., realize we are giving them what they want by promoting them talking and writing about it and by the way, we are promoting what happened and writing it, too. But, you can tell our tone is more about perspective in this.
Again, Jameis is 23 years old and trying to lead/do the right things and obviously, was in that mode Wednesday. As the linked articles above state, Winston admits he now thinks it was a poor choice to use the words “stay silent” towards the girls.
Probably would have been better to just say, “I want the boys to stand, and everyone else in the room to be quiet with eyes on me.”
He will learn from this, just like his incompletions, interceptions and losses, and be better for it.
Also, for all those above, and anyone else: “walk a mile” in an educator or speaker’s shoes trying to keep the attention of elementary or smaller school children for any length of time…It ‘aint easy!
It’s certainly easier to snipe at the Bucs QB from an “armchair,” when he was clearly on the video trying to do what he thought was right.