First it was Hollywood. Then it was Washington.
Now, it’s the NFL.
Amid the growing number of celebrities and politicians being accused of sexual harassment and/or assault, Tampa Bay Buccaneers injured star quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the National Football League (NFL) for allegedly groping an Uber driver in 2016.
A woman, identified only as “Kate,” picked up Winston in the “early morning hours of March 13, 2016, according to a report by Buzzfeed News.
Kate claims that while the two were in the drive-thru lane at a local Mexican restaurant Winston “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told BuzzFeed News that “the matter is under review.”
Winston released a statement on Twitter:
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 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 that 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 allegations against Winston wouldn’t be the first time the quarterback was in hot water for alleged sexual misconduct.
According to Sports Illustrated:
While a student at Florida State, Winston was accused of raping a female student. The alleged 2012 assault was not publicized until 2013, amid controversy of a cover up by the school and Tallahassee police. The woman in that case, Erica Kinsman, sued Florida State and reached a settlement that would pay her $950,000. Winston was also suspended for one half of a game in 2014 for shouting a sexual explicit phrase in public.
Winston was already scheduled to miss Tampa Bay’s game at Miami this Sunday with a shoulder injury.