The Uber driver who charged Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston with sexual harassment, has released a statement thanking the NFL for suspending the player and calling for female victims to be be “believed” when the come forward about sexual assault.
On June 22, the NFL handed Winston a three-game suspension, due to allegations that he grabbed a female Uber driver’s crotch. The accusation came from an incident in March of 2016 in which the player was charged with molesting a Scottsdale, Arizona, Uber driver known only as “Kate.”
Now that the league has set forth its punishment of the player, “Kate” has issued a #MeToo response to the penalty, according to BuzzFeed News reporter Talal Ansari.
“I am glad to see the NFL discipline Jameis Winston,” the statement begins. “I do appreciate his apology, even if it needs some work.”
The statement continues:
I would like to publicly acknowledge the NFL Investigators, particularly Lisa Friel and John Iannarelli, for their kind, professional and thorough investigation.
My experience should highlight the importance of believing women when they have the courage to come forward about sexual assault. Perhaps that night could have been prevented if others had been believed before me.
An exclusive statement from the former Uber driver Kate, after the NFL issued a 3 game suspension for QB Jameis Winston for touching her “in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent.” pic.twitter.com/mbIcXla4fD
— Talal Ansari (@TalalNAnsari) June 29, 2018
After the NFL announced its decision on the suspension, Winston issued an apology saying, “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,” he added.
The player apologized for letting his teammates down and concluded saying, “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.”
The suspension wraps up a two-year investigation of charges that Winston initially fully denied.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.