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Jameis Winston: The accusations against me are false

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heads to the field to take on the Carolina Panthers at an NFL football game on October 29, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

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Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has released a statement in response to allegations that he groped a female Uber driver during a ride in Scottsdale, Arizona in March 2016.

In the report by BuzzFeed News, Winston is accused of grabbing the driver’s crotch while waiting for food at a drive-thru restaurant. Winston denied that accusation in a statement posted to social media on Friday afternoon.

“A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.

I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false. While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way.”

In the account provided to BuzzFeed News, the driver, identified only as Kate, said that Winston was the only passenger in the car during the ride in question.

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said earlier on Friday that the matter is under review and that the league has reached out to Uber for any information they may have. The Buccaneers also released a statement saying they “take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL.”