Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

NFL investigating Jameis Winston for allegedly groping a female Uber driver

Alex Reimer
November 17, 2017 - 12:56 pm

The NFL is investigating Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for allegedly groping a female Uber driver during a trip last year, BuzzFeed news reports

The league’s special counsel for investigations, Lisa Friel, sent a letter to the Uber driver Thursday. The reported incident occurred on March 13, 2016, when a driver named “Kate” picked up Winston in Scottsdale, Arizona around 2:00 a.m. outside of a lively party. Winston’s friends reportedly placed the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner in the front seat. From there, “Kate” says Winston began acting rudely, shouting homophobic slurs at pedestrians and demanding they stop for food. While in line at a nearby drive-thru, she says Winston grabbed her crotch for several seconds.

“I wasn't just creeped out. I was frozen,’” the driver told BuzzFeed News. “I mean he's an NFL quarterback and I’m 5-foot-6. I’m not prepared for that. So I completely froze.” 

Winston’s representative, Russ Spielman, denies the allegations. The quarterback does as well. 

“The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver,” Winston wrote. “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." 

“Kate” says she instantly filed a report with Uber after the alleged episode. Uber confirmed the rider is now banned from using its services. 

This isn’t the first time Winston has been accused of sexual assault. A female student at Florida State accused him of raping her in 2012, when they both attended the university. Her allegations, however, weren’t publicized until the following year. The school and Tallahassee police were accused of covering up the case. 

Erica Kinsman, the alleged victim, sued Florida State and reached a settlement of $950,000 She told her story in “Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary that explores the prevalence of rape and sexual assault on college campuses.

Winston, 23, was also suspended for a half a game in 2014 for shouting a sexually explicit phrase in public.

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