On July 21, 2013, a call was made to the Tallahassee Police Department non-emergency number about some young men in the store causing an issue and needing to be removed. Now, much like the BB gun incidents before, this was only reported after digging had been done after the sexual assault allegations.
ESPN reported on this story on November 28, 2013, over 4 months after the incident. Why? It was another incident nobody knew about because there were no charges filed or even a report. Nobody was even named in the incident. Let’s look at this excerpt on ESPN’s report:
After you listen to the actual phone call to TPD, you might notice some inconsistencies with this story. You can listen to the call here, it’s only just over a minute in length, so I’ll put the entire transcript below. Answering the TPD call is Emily and making the call is the Burger King Assistant Manager (BKAM) who does not provide her name.
Police Call Transcript:
Emily: Tallahassee Police Department, Emily speaking, how may I help you?
BKAM: Hi, I need three teenagers removed from my store right away.
Emily: Where is your store?
BKAM: The Burger King on Tennessee St, it’s 1060 West Tennessee.
Emily: And you’re an employee there?
BKAM: I am the store…I am the Assistant Manager.
Emily: And what’s the name of the store?
BKAM: Burger King.
Emily: And what are they doing?
BKAM: Alright well, for one they’re not listening, they’re causing a big scene out front because I caught one of them stealing soda and refused to dump out their cups and I told them over and over no matter what it is it is theft and he said he didn’t care. So now he’s fighting with me and refuses to leave.
Emily: Okay. Male, female, black, white?
BKAM: Male, black, about six foot.
Emily: All of them?
BKAM: All three of them, yep. And I’m like a five foot little white girl so it’s like, they’re not going to listen to me no matter what I say.
Emily: Alright, we’ll get somebody out there as soon as we can. They’re inside right now?
Emily: Okay, we’ll get someone out there.
BKAM: Thank you.
Emily: Uh huh, bye bye.
Now after examining the actual call and there is no incident report, where is ESPN coming up with her recognizing Jameis Winston? I have yet to find any indication of this assumption.
First, she clearly states twice in the call there is only three men, yet ESPN reports there is Winston plus three other men for a total of four men. Their first sentence is inaccurate. Then they claim she recognized him. Nowhere in the call is Winston named and if you are calling the police on someone, if you know the name of the offender, it might just be something you would want to let them know.
Now, using some common sense, this happened in the summer of 2013 before the 2013 National Championship football season had started. The previous fall, Winston had been a redshirt freshman and never saw action in a game, so she could not have recognized him from there. He did play on the baseball team the previous spring and was a highly rated recruit coming in, so possibly recognized from there.
Realistically, if a girl follows baseball and football recruiting enough to be able to recognize and name a player when seen in public when neither is in season, which isn’t likely, she is likely a pretty cool girl by typical male standards. Generally, if a girl is cool enough to do that, she is not the type to call the police over one of those players she follows for stealing a little soda in a ketchup cup or even raise a fuss about it. However, it is possible no matter how incredibly unlikely, so we must stick to the facts and what we know.
She doesn’t name Winston in the call or claim to recognize him, there is no police report naming Winston and she describes each of them as being about six foot tall while Winston is a solid four inches taller.
Why wasn’t he suspended?
Well, again nobody knew about this incident until late November, over four months after the incident and again Winston was never actually seen or described in doing anything wrong and it is an extremely minor incident. From our digging, we have found nothing other than media and online message board rumors of any involvement by Winston at all, no reports showing it was indeed Winston and nothing anywhere of Winston admitting his involvement. We can not even confirm those involved were even football players at FSU or anywhere else.
If you go to any gas station or store and fill up your cup at the soda fountain machine and take a small gulp and refill it again before paying, you just stole more than Winston allegedly did with a ketchup cup at Burger King.
Just like with the BB gun incidents, to our knowledge, Winston has never addressed these issues publicly or admitted to them, neither has he denied the rumors most run with as fact. Just from not coming out and denying it, admittedly leaves most, including us, feel his involvement was probably pretty close to the rumors, but assuming rumors are true is not good enough to convict a player of anything. Jimbo Fisher has a strict policy of eliminating clutter like these issues with the media, so Winston has always avoided the issue and speaks only of football on the field. When the issue ever did come up in an interview, he was quick to say he was only talking about football. That is neither a admitting or denying anything.
If he even did it, which we can not confirm for sure, was it maybe another immature move before he ever took a snap? Sure, but it is an extremely minor issue and certainly not worth really any punishment at all, much less any sort of suspension from the team.