Nobody is winning the Jameis Winston debate…

Aug 26, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We do this every year, don’t we? There is always some form of adversity in Tampa. Just like the Hurricane last season. Started off with high hopes just to have them dashed by no bye week. We were unable to overcome it then and all of the Cinderella hype was gone.

It seems this is year is no different. Yet again adversity is hitting and we are losing Jameis Winston for three games due to an alleged crotch-grabbing incident. However, the real issue isn’t as much about the three games in my opinion as it is about the fan base. At this point, there is a rift. Some believe that he is 100% guilty and does not deserve a roster spot. Some believe that he is innocent or his actions are forgivable. Both have valid perspectives and both should be respected.

Then there are some in the middle…

Those who are in the middle are looking at this for what it is, the facts for what they are. Jameis may or may not have sexually assaulted that Uber driver on that night nearly two and a half years ago. Jameis may or may not have lied to us about it. However, it seems at this point we may never know. There are very few facts.

One fact does remain. Jameis has not been proven guilty in a court of law. In fact, there were no police reports. The alleged victim, Kate, evidently did not view the incident to be so malicious to the point where jail time or a conviction was necessary. Now the court of public opinion is set to decide the outcome. The oppositions in this court only have a limited amount of evidence to draw a conclusion. However that conclusion may only remain an opinion. An opinion that should be respected.

In my opinion if Jameis is guilty, then he certainly needs to grow up. I do not condone that behavior and the people that want to crucify him have to be respected, as that is a despicable act. On the other hand, those that support him because they have made mistakes in the past and believe in second chances should be respected as well. This has been his only incident as a Buccaneer and that cannot be overlooked during his three year tenure. It is entirely possible to have lost admiration for Jameis but to still support him.

Let’s look at the situation from face value. Jameis was accused of inappropriately touching the alleged victim while intoxicated in an Uber over two years ago. The victim only addressed it with her employer and not the proper authorities. A fair amount of hearsay ensued in which some suggested she was lying and some suggested Jameis lied.

Now some will propose that Jameis insinuating that Banks and Darby were in the car was an admission of guilt. I think many have forgotten or failed to address that there were two car rides. It is entirely possible that Jameis was referencing the first one in which he was honest. It is also possible that he was too drunk to remember the second car ride. Now I am not condoning that behavior nor his response to the questions, I am simply playing devil’s advocate as to the discrepancy. It is also possible he manipulated everyone and for that he needs to grow up and smarten up.

The fact is, just like politics, that nobody is going to ever agree on Jameis’s character or if the discipline administered was justified. What is more important is that we are all Bucs fans and we need to learn to live with differences of opinions. We may never see eye to eye on the decision to retain Jameis, but we all need to live with it and treat each other as equals because that decision has already been made. Jameis will be a Buccaneer for the foreseeable future.

A fan base by definition is a distinct social grouping. You don’t necessarily have to support the player and that’s fine, but we should all support the team. That is why we are here. The hostility is only adding fuel to an already huge fire. We are doing more damage to each other than the act itself.

In many ways this ideology could be utilized in everyday life. It would certainly help with politics and religion, but we all know it’s impossible. There will always be two sides to every issue.

Then there will also always be the middle men. Which one are you?

I respect your answer.

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