Jameis Winston has taken the baton as the most polarizing athlete in college football, accepting this from Johnny Manziel who received it from AJ McCarron who received it from Cam Newton who received it from Tim Tebow. However, there is nothing polarizing or controversial about the selfless gesture he did in his home state today.
Winston was in his hometown of Hueytown, Alabama today where its “Jameis Winston Day” in Bessmer and Hueytown. Winston is expected to receive the keys to the two cities, have signs erected within the community remembering him and have his jersey retired at tonight’s ceremony at his old high school stadium.
Prior to the ceremony, Winston visited the Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham to spend some time with some children and put a smile on the faces of a number of young boys and girls.
The Seminoles signal-caller is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner after throwing 40 touchdowns and more than 4,000 yards as the first freshman to lead his team to a BCS National Championship while doubling as an ace reliever for the baseball team and recently added ACC Athlete of the Year. His athletic prowess and talents have never been in question.
However, his values, ethics and morals have been dating back to last year when he was involved in a sexual assault investigation. No charges were filed, but many remain convinced that not only should he have been charged, but he is in fact guilty as sin.
Further, his shoplifting citation this spring for walking out of a Tallahassee Publix with $32 worth of crab legs further damaged his reputation as an immature and entitled athlete. He served his community service hours working at a YMCA and by all accounts has been a model citizen since then.
Criticize Winston all you want if he struggles on the field and believe what you want to believe in regard to his past, but you can’t deny that this was a touching gesture that more athletes should find time to make.