Handling the Big Stage: Jameis Winston

By Thomas Edson

Staff Writer

Jameis Winston has had problems regarding his behavior since he set foot on the Florida State University campus. The star quarterback, who lead Florida State to a Bowl Championship Subdivision (BCS) National Championship a year ago, has faced sexual assault charges, stolen crab legs, and most recently, stood up in the middle of a student union and yelled obscene, sexual and sexist remarks.

    Jamesville-DeWitt High School senior Emily Clapper voices the opinion of many people across the nation when she says, Winston’s “actions were inappropriate.”  “His decision was very childish because it was in the middle of a bunch of students,” said junior Quentin Curry.

    As a successful and elite quarterback, Winston has taken on the image of a football god and is a rolemodel for some. However, all this fame can be a lot on a 20 year old kid who hasn’t finished college yet. Handling the spotlight is hard for a young man. “His actions were influenced by his popularity because if he wasn’t as popular as he was he probably wouldn’t have stood up on the table and yelled what he yelled,” said sophomore Matt Cappelletti. Freshmen Abby Baumgartner and Kasey Vaughn agree with Cappelletti, and also add that he may be full of himself because he is so important to his team and such a big figure.

    Winston isn’t the only big figure that has run into problems during their famous career. There are many examples of sports or entertainment stars getting into trouble or making a questionable decision.    

    You could ask almost anyone in the country and they could give you an example. Sophomore Julia Vazquez brings back the memory of Britney Spears shaving her head and also a more recent event regarding Miley Cyrus and her drastic change in personality and appearance. “They did that for attention. I don’t believe that they are thinking in the long term. They just do what they want and people react in a big way to it,” said Vazquez.

    Recently in the sports world, and more specifically the NFL, big figures like Ray Rice, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, and Adrian Peterson, of the Minnesota Vikings, have run into big problems with the media and public for their actions.

    In the modern world, social media plays a huge role in situations like these. “Social media is the game changer. That is the thing that is new for this generation of young athletes. For anything, anybody can bring out their phones and post something to social media and it spreads so much quicker then ever before,” said Assistant Director of Athletic Communications at Syracuse University Susie Mehringer.

    In this world of technology and fast moving news, there are things one can do to prevent having to deal with this. “Be cognisant of the fact that you are in the spotlight and that unfortunately it doesn’t get turned on and off,” said Mehringer, “It doesn’t just get turned on when you are on the field, or on a court, or in whatever your specialty is. It follows you when you go to class, it follows you when you go to a restaurant for dinner, it follows you everywhere you go.” Mehringer also believes that apologizing is the best thing you can do if you happen to get into trouble.

    Although students here at J-DHS do not face the national stage, there are still things that they can take away from the situation with Jameis Winston and other cases involving bigtime figures: thinking before taking action, being honest, and learning from mistakes.