Winston admits to 'poor word choice' in speech to school children

theScore Staff
Reinhold Matay / USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was a guest speaker at a Tampa-area elementary school Wednesday and during his appearance, he copped to a "poor word choice" he made in an attempt to reach his young listeners.

According to Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times, Winston was speaking to a group of children from the third to fifth grade when some in the crowd grew inattentive.

Winston then tried to address only the boys in the audience and get across a particular message.

"All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down. But all my boys, stand up," Winston said, according to Jones. "We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to. Now, a lot of boys aren't supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I'm saying? One day ya'll are going to have a very deep voice like this. One day, you'll have a very, very deep voice.

"But the ladies, they're supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men supposed to be strong. I want y'all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!"

Winston was later asked to clarify his comments.

"I was making an effort to interact with a young male in the audience who didn't seem to be paying attention, and I didn't want to single him out so I asked all the boys to stand up. During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some," Winston said.

Such appearances by pro athletes are commonplace and aren't typically cause for national news.

Winston's past is complicated, however. His college career included a sexual assault allegation in 2012. Winston was never charged and the civil lawsuit was settled in December. He was also disciplined and suspended for one half of play for making an offensive remark on campus in 2014.

Since being selected by the Buccaneers with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, Winston has been devoid of controversy and an ambassador for both the team and for his adopted home of Tampa Bay.