Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston took to social media Friday denying an allegation he groped an Uber driver in 2016.
In an interview with Buzzfeed News, a woman who identified herself only as Kate said she was hailed to downtown Scottsdale, Arizona to pick up a passenger Sunday March 13, 2016. There, she told BuzzFeed a small group of men placed Winston in the front passenger seat.
"I started driving, and right away, Jameis behaved poorly," she said. The driver says while waiting in line at a food drive-thru Winston "reached over and he just grabbed my crotch." She says he held his hand there for three to five seconds and removed it only after she looked up in shock and said, "What’s up with that? I wasn't just creeped out. I was frozen."
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
Winston took to social media to respond to the allegations.
"A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver," Winston wrote. "I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her."
Winston went on to say the accusation was false. He says he addressed the report immediately with Uber after the driver reported it, but his Uber account was still suspended.
"I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false," Winston wrote. "While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way."
According to ESPN, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the "allegation was shared with the NFL and we have reached out to Uber to request any information they may have."
This isn't Winston's first foray into controversy. While in college the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner settled a dispute involving two federal lawsuits with a woman who accused him of rape, although Winston had said their encounter was consensual.