Jameis Winston Further Establishes America's Ability To Accept Violence For The Sake Of Entertainment

Jameis Winston Further Establishes America's Ability To Accept Violence For The Sake Of Entertainment

The latest allegations against quarterback Jameis Winston raise serious questions about his character.

I’ve never been one to reach a conviction before the jury’s deliberation. I’ve never been one to rush to snap judgements and levy verdicts on individuals, usually individuals very prominent in the public eye, before a thorough investigation by the legal bodies in question.

However, the recent allegations against Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Jameis Winston, in which an Uber driver alleges inappropriate groping and sexual contact, brings to light a disturbing trend played out throughout the NFL and all of the entertainment industry in regard to sexual violence.

Coupled with recent allegations against Hollywood fixtures Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, the allegations against Winston have become all that more troubling.

This isn’t Winston’s first rodeo, so to speak. This isn’t the first time that he’s been accused of sexual misconduct. That distinction belongs to an encounter he had with Ms. Erica Kinsman, who at the time was a fellow student at Florida State University, who accused Winston of misconduct during his redshirt season in 2012.

And all of this is not to mention Winston’s other alleged wrongdoings, including the recitation of a vulgar Internet meme in Florida State’s student union during his senior season, as well as apparent theft of crab legs from a restaurant and soda from a Burger King. Granted, those allegations are not as serious as the ones brought by Ms. Kinsman, nor the current allegations from the Uber driver.

What can be viewed in Winston’s behavior is an unfortunate and disturbing trend in the larger context of wrongdoing amongst those in these highest profile situations. While an isolated allegation might hold itself in the strictest sense to a “he-said, she-said” distinction, a repeated number of allegations has presented serious flaws in Winston as an individual.

And while some sportswriters have already pounced, citing this as an indictment of Tampa Bay’s selection of Winston, I feel it speaks to larger implications in society.

Yes, Winston has character issues; issues that seem to have carried over from his college days and followed him to the NFL. Yes, his counterpart, Marcus Mariota, drafted one selection slot after him, has statistically performed better, and has led the Tennessee Titans to jockey for position in the playoffs, while the Buccaneers are a woeful 4-6.

Yet, even more so than detriments to the game is the willingness of the nation as a whole to overlook the powerful implications this has.

While this is undoubtedly a problem not uniquely American, the alarming growth in the number of entertainers who have (allegedly) taken advantage of their status and power is horrifying.

When do we begin to hold accountable those who we pay to amuse us and divert our attention? Granted, entertainment can make much bolder and more beautiful statements than that, but because of the nebulous power associated with it, there must be a scrutiny with which we evaluate the entertainer.

How many Harvey Weinsteins or Kevin Spaceys have to grope someone before we put our foot down?

How many Jameis Winstons must we pass along, and then when we finally do condemn them, focus on their body of work or their potential rather than what has been stolen from the victim?

I’m not one for condemning the innocent, but where there’s smoke there’s fire, and where there’s a pattern of alleged wrongdoing, there’s more often than not wrongdoing.

Cover Image Credit: @essentialsportsreport

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Club Swimming Taught Me That When Life Is Difficult You Need To 'Just Keep Swimming'

No matter my hardships, I've come out stronger because of them.


I may not be the best swimmer out there, but I am the best swimmer that I can be. I'm a great swimmer.

Many terrible memories through swimming, but there are so many great ones that make up for them all.

My goal in swimming is to be able to lift my teammates up and push them past their limits. I am more than just any hard worker who puts in more than 110% of my effort into every practice. I am more than just another swimmer whose goal was to once be an Olympic athlete. I am more than just a competitor who aspires to win every race. I am a swimmer who is not afraid to lose a race if it means that I had tried my absolute best in and out of the pool. I am a swimmer that cheers the LOUDEST for her teammates as well as other swimmers without being asked. I am a swimmer who is a TEAM player and wishes nothing more than to perform at my very best so I can inspire and push OTHERS to do even better. I am the swimmer you wish you had on your team.

I struggled through swimming quite a bit from 2014 up until mid-2017 both physically and mentally. I stopped club swimming after spring break of 2016 but rejoined after the summer season. I was not as consistent and I questioned myself to whether or not I still loved the sport because I felt burnt out. Therefore, my results plummeted, but during this summer I started going for my best times again.

I know because I took time off, many people have passed me up and their progress and results are better than mine. I did take that time to realize that science and math were NOT my strong suit in school and that I should not have piled up on so many math/science courses all at once. I found my passion within liberal arts. I may be a bit behind compared to the girls my age on my club team and it is difficult to compare my times with theirs now, but I have a lot of self-motivation and I will not back down just because they are better than me right now.

I really picked myself back up over the recent summer and I have done better than I have ever before. If I were given the opportunity to restart the summer and the past few years and either do anything I wanted to or to relive everything again, I would without a doubt choose to relive everything again. Why? Because without that experience, I would not have been able to realize what I can and cannot handle with school work (like piling up a bunch of difficult classes in two years) and realize what field I want to be a part of in the future. And swimming-wise, I would not have found as much confidence in myself. I would have been swimming without a purpose.

I realized that the little girl who loved swimming so much is still inside me, but I've become a better student and athlete today. You will be impressed by how consistently I can hold my times in practice and how well I will be able to manage my schoolwork. I will be able to amaze you day in and out not only with my performance but with my attitude as well. You will not see anyone else who has a brighter smile, with so much spirit, and so much determination all at once. Because of my setback, I am more ready than ever to shine brighter than ever.

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