ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Lots of people are talking about the school pep talk by Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston that apparently didn't send the message he intended.
During a visit to Melrose Elementary School in St. Petersburg yesterday, he told the children they could do anything they set their mind to. It was supposed to be a talk to get children excited about who they are and where they could go in life.
As Winston was trying to engage with the children, he asked all the boys to stand up and told the girls to sit down, then said this:
"A lot of boys [aren't] supposed to be soft spoken. One day ya'll [are] gonna have a very deep voice like this -- a very, very deep voice. But the ladies, they [are] supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. But my men now, my men [are] supposed to be strong."
Some adults in the room bristled at the suggestion girls are supposed to be silent.
Later, Winston issued a statement to clarify what he was trying to do.
"I was excited to spend the afternoon with the children and inspire them to succeed in school, dream big and achieve anything they put their minds to. 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. During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some. I love interacting with kids of all ages and will continue trying to find ways to make a positive impact in their lives."
The school district later issued their own statement, thanking him for the clarification.
"We understand why the remarks caused concern, and we appreciate Mr. Winston's follow up comments apologizing for the poor choice of words in that moment of his presentation."