NFL investigating after accusations surface alleging that Jameis Winston groped Uber driver

Jameis Winston (BUCS)
Posted at 2:20 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 10:10:16-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and former Florida State football player Jameis Winston is responding to allegations that he groped a female Uber driver.

According to ESPN, the NFL confirmed that they are investigating the claims. The sports news outlet says that the investigation was first reported Friday by BuzzFeed News

The driver told BuzzFeed News that the incident happened in March 2016. She alleges that while in line at a drive-thru restaurant, Winston reached over and "grabbed" her crotch and only removed his hand when she said something to him.

An Uber spokesman told ESPN that the "behavior the driver reported is disturbing and wrong. The rider was permanently removed from the app shortly after we learned of the incident."

Winston has since denied the allegations, saying in a statement that "the accusation is false."

"A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. 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 Buccaneers released this statement regarding the media reports: “We are in the process of obtaining further information regarding today’s media report.  We take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL.”

In 2012, Winston was accused of assaulting a Florida State student, though no charges were ever filed against him following an investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department. 

His accuser, Erica Kinsman, tried to sue him for sexual battery in 2015, but agreed to dismiss the lawsuit in 2016.