Original report:The NFL is investigating an allegation that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and former Heisman Trophy victor Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in 2016, BuzzFeed News reported Friday. "The league takes allegations of this nature very seriously and has opened an investigation into this matter".
The female Uber driver told BuzzFeed News that she picked up Winston in the early hours of the morning on March 13 in Scottsdale, Arizona. While in line at a nearby drive-thru, she says Winston grabbed her crotch for several seconds. The Uber driver - who BuzzFeed identified only by her first name Kate - told BuzzFeed a small group of men told her she'd be chauffeuring Winston, who won the 2013 Heisman Trophy while at Florida State. Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said on Friday, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the team will issue a statement on the matter.
Winston's representative is denying the allegations.
Winston received a call from someone identifying himself as "Chris from the Uber office" informing him that his account had been placed on temporary hold pending an investigation. When she arrived, two men placed Winston in her front seat and claims Winston yelled homophobic slurs out of the window at pedestrians as she chauferred the 2013 Heisman Trophy victor.
Winston was quick to deny the driver's allegation Friday. (She no longer drives for the service.) 'I was frozen.' She described Winston as 'very physically imposing'. "So I completely froze", she said, anxious that she might provoke an unwanted reaction.
BuzzFeed posted screenshots of the complaint the driver filed with Uber and also of a text the driver sent to a friend later that day.
Kate says she's now speaking up because she feels empowered by other victims of sexual assault who have come forward with stories accusing Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and others. Kate claimed that although there was a small crowd of men - who told her the identity of her famous passenger - at the pickup location only Winston got in the auto for the ride.
Winston was previously accused of raping a fellow Florida State University student in 2012. "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".
He added that he is supportive of the "national movement to raise awareness" of similar situations of sexual harassment. "He sexually assaulted me, and I have every right to tell the damn truth about it". The NFL confirmed it is investigating the incident.