The NFL is investigating allegations that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback -who has a history of sexual misconduct accusations- allegedly groped a female Uber driver in 2016.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that an “allegation was shared with the NFL and we have reached out to Uber to request any information they may have.”
According to ESPN, a response letter was sent from NFL executive Lisa Friel to the Uber driver, which was intercepted by Buzzfeed.
“The League has been informed that you may have been the victim of such a violation perpetrated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Jameis Winston,” the letter read. “The league takes allegations of this nature very seriously and has opened an investigation into this matter.”
Winston denied the allegations, claiming that they are false.
“A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago,” Winston said in a Friday statement. “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.”
ESPN reports that the incident allegedly took place in March of 2016 at 2AM, when she picked Winston up in Scottsdale, Arizona. Asking her to stop at a drive through, Winston reportedly grabbed her crotch for a few seconds, only ceasing after she protested.
Winston has since been removed from Uber’s list of authorized customers.
The quarterback was accused of sexual assault in 2012 and 2015, as well as being suspended for a game during college after an act of misconduct.
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