Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston continues to be a complicated study in the off-field behavior of pro athletes, doing things that draw criticism and praise, sometimes even in the same hour.
Winston drew criticism from some fans today for posting video of a personal workout where his trainer wore a shirt that said "JAMEIS AGAINST THE WORLD." The shirts are NFLPA-licensed and sent personalized to all players, with team versions sold by the NFL, but for some, it was the wrong message given the current context of his three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
At that very same practice, as he left the field, there was a Tampa Bay Youth Football League camp going on for kids at Skyway Park. As is often the case, Winston took time to interact with the kids, talking with them an even posing for photos with the group.
"A couple of the kids ran up to him, and he was gracious enough to stop," said Porsche Taylor, a teacher at Spoto High School whose 9-year-old son, Lhoyalti, was participating in the camp. "It was very impromptu the way he stopped. He said watching them work out motivated him, keep up the good work. He said he was the hardest working person out there and the kids were bantering back and forth with him."
Taylor said she appreciated what Winston did more because it wasn't his youth camp — local NFL players Nelson Agholor and Matt Jones and Bucs defensive end Noah Spence were working with the kids — and that made it more authentic and special for her.
"It was surprising," she said. "I'm a teacher, so you hear the different reactions even from the kids to him, what they read, what they hear. I'm a season-ticket holder, so I've always seen him interact with fans in a positive manner. It was really cool today. It was very surprising, because it wasn't planned."
Winston later posted a photo of himself with the campers: "After a workout, had to show love and inspiration to the kids," he wrote. "It's bigger than me."