Some readers will think this is a non-story and a reach, while others will say it's the wrong message that Jameis Winston is sending as he tries to repair his image after a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. As with all things regarding Winston of late, there's a wide variety of reaction among fans and readers.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston posted a long video to his Instagram story on Friday morning, showing him going through a personal workout at Skyway Park as he prepares for the start of Bucs training camp with veterans reporting July 25.
Winston's longtime trainer, former NFL defensive end Otis Leverette, wore a T-shirt that reads "JAMEIS AGAINST THE WORLD" during the workout. While Winston had a plain white Nike shirt on, he knows what the trainer is wearing as he sends a message out to half a million followers on Instagram.
To be clear, the shirts weren't created by Winston — there are NFLPA-licensed "(name) against the world" shirts personalized and given to all NFL players; the NFL sells team versions of the same shirt in its online store.
Winston directly addressed the camera at times during breaks in the workout, talking about his motivation to get ready for the season ahead.
"By yourself, you've got to push yourself. You've got nobody else but you," Winston said. "Sometimes you get in your own head and say 'I can't do this. I can't do that.' You can do anything you put your mind to, no matter what adversity you face. You can do it. Just put your mind to it. You're good. You've got to work."
The shirt's use here might be simple motivation for Winston — teams often create an "us against the world" mindset to build a group closer together. For some fans, the message wasn't what they wanted to see from someone who publicly apologized for actions that led to a three-game suspension, after strongly denying any wrongdoing when initially accused. Reaction on social media Friday was divided and strong from both sides.
Leverette, who played for three NFL teams from 2001-04, has trained Winston since before his freshman year of high school. Bucs veterans report for the start of training camp July 25, in less than two weeks.
"Everybody has a highlight film," Leverette said, speaking to the camera. "We want to see your low-light film. When it's hot and it's dark and you're tired and you're grinding and you've got no crowd out there … What are you doing when the lights are low?"