So here we are. The day after several reports came together to inform the world that the NFL will be suspending Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston multiple games for allegedly groping a female Uber driver. Folks sit wondering how this could be true, while there are several others with their smug faces saying “I told you so.”
But here we are with yet another day of trying to figure out what these reports mean. Are they true or are they not. Are they filled with lots of information enough to place Winston rightfully in the court of public opinion or are they put out there for the mere fact of passing along information that media members had to share. The start of the day Thursday brought much confusion. And if you look real close, there still is.
Here we are as a society quick to overreact. Quickly, everyone reacted to the news of the suspension by choosing sides. Media members went at it on Twitter, pointing fingers on who exactly was correct and who was not. The fact is, nothing is set and yet, here we all are guilty of overreacting.
Winston will be suspended. That’s a fact. What is still up in the air is for the amount of games and what are the reasons for the suspension. The reported length specifically states it “could be” up to three games. Was a deal cut between the NFL and Winston to not make it three games? Perhaps. Is the league doing Winston a favor? Absolutely.
The league could have easily suspended Winston for any length of time they wanted, and for those dreaded six games people feared. They very well still could. But there are conditions that Winston could meet to reduce that suspension and possibly make just one game. We don’t know what those conditions are. We can only speculate. And one can only assume it’s to finally give up that third person everyone is curious about or agree to do something else, like enter into some program. I suspect it would have to be something along the lines of the former — provide more information of some kind.
Thursday evening, NFL Total Access had their evening roundtable discussions regarding this topic. Three things stood out from their reporting: Winston was in the backseat, failure to report is part of the suspension, and these reports from Thursday were merely to validate the one from Wednesday from ESPN Radio’s Jeff Cameron. Closest thing to the Total Access segment I found on the internet was another NFL Network segment which included Mike Garafolo pointing out the same points the Total Access crew noted above. (That video is posted below for those always looking for some kind of proof.)
Until the full details are released from the league, we are guilty of not looking into the reports for what they are. And that is the fact that the league isn’t even done with their decision making process. These reports were basically reports from the original report Wednesday. So before we continue to pass judgment, before we try to run him out of town, before we decide to make anyone accountable for their actions, and before we write stories of sexual assault knowing the police were never contacted, let’s wait for the process to complete.
But here we are as a society, doing everything we should not be doing. At least not yet.