Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston met with a group of young students from Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, and his attempt to motivate the classroom got rather messy when he said boys should be strong and girls should be polite and silent.
According to Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times, things went off the rails when Winston tried grab the attention of some kids who looked like they were starting to get bored. That’s when Winston appeared to go off script.
“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down,” Winston began.
From there, he only made things worse.
“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. 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 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!”
Here’s video of the moment, also courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times:
According to Jones, “a few” adults in the room were bothered by the comments but did not want to speak on the record.
Winston was later asked about his comments and he offered an explanation.
“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. “During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some.”