Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburgh addressing a group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade male and female students when he noticed some students were getting bored. He decided to wake them up with a pep talk, but it went wrong.
Winston tried to shake things up with the following statements (as documented by the Tampa Bay Times):
“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down … but all my boys, stand up. 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 y’all are going to have a very deep voice like this (in deep voice). 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 (are) 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!”
One of the teachers told the Times a female student turned to her and said, “I’m strong too.”
Winston later tried to clarify that he was trying to motivate a particular student without singling him out.
“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,” Winston said, according to the newspaper. “During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some.”