The NFL is investigating an allegation that Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in 2016.
The league acknowledged the probe in a letter Thursday, November 16, to the alleged victim from the NFL’s special counsel for investigations, Lisa Friel, according to BuzzFeed News.
“The League has been informed that you may have been the victim of such a violation perpetrated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Jameis Winston. The league takes allegations of this nature very seriously and has opened an investigation into this matter,” the letter read.
A woman, identified by the name Kate, told BuzzFeed News that she picked up Winston along with several other men from a party in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona around 2 a.m. on Sunday March 13, 2016.
Kate claims Winston sat in the front seat and immediately began behaving unruly by shouting homophobic slurs at pedestrians.
The quarterback requested to stop for food. While at the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant Kate alleges Winston, “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch." After several seconds he removed his hand.
Kate says she wanted to bring Winston's actions to light and is not doing this for money. She claims that she didn't go to police or want her last name revealed for fear of retaliation from football fans.
Winston denied the allegation via a statement on Twitter Friday, November 17.
"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. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account," he said.
"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. 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."