Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston on Thursday confirmed the NFL had suspended him for the first three games of next season.
In a lengthy statement, he apologized to the Uber driver he is accused of groping in 2016. Although, he did not specifically address whether or not the allegation itself was true. To be clear, he has previously denied touching the driver inappropriately.
"I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in," Winston said. "It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize."
Winston expressed disappointment in the league's decision, but he said the past two and a half years have allowed him to learn and grow. He said the time has even led him to stop drinking alcohol.
The Buccaneers responded with this statement:
“All members of our organization are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Personal Conduct Policy of the NFL. We are disappointed that Jameis put himself in a position that has been found to violate the policy and accept today’s decision by the Commissioner.”
Read Winston's full statement below.
"The NFL informed me today that I will be suspended for the first three games of the season.
First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in. It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize. In the past 2 1/2 years my life has been filled with experiences, opportunities and events that have helped me grow, mature and learn, including the fact that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.
I know I have to hold myself to a higher standard on and off the field and that I have a responsibility to my family, community, and teammates to live above the platform with which God has blessed me. I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season. Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.
I now look forward to putting this behind me and I will continue to work hard every day to be a positive influence in my community and be the best person, teammate and leader I can be."