Nike Ends Endorsement Deal With Jameis Winston After He Groped Uber Driver

Jameis Winston
Chris O'Meara / AP

Nike has announced that they are no longer interested in being in the Jameis Winston business, deciding not to renew their endorsement deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback. Winston was recently the recipient of a three-game suspension from the league for groping an Uber driver. Prior to the suspension being handed down, Winston’s deal with Nike had expired. They were reportedly waiting to see what the league investigation into the allegation against Winston was going to uncover prior to deciding if they would sign him to another deal.

As NBC reported, many people were surprised that Nike had ever signed Winston to a deal in the first place, given the rape accusation he faced when enrolled at Florida State, a charge that some have believed the university botched the investigation on. Past notwithstanding, in the present, his current issue with the Uber driver, which he admitted to, has thrown his reputation under a dark cloud yet again with many fans, the Buccaneers’ front office, and the Office Of The Commissioner.

What has had many people perplexed, as ESPN noted, is why it took until now for the league to act on this allegation from 2016 against the former No. 1 overall draft pick. NBC also pointed out that for Nike and the NFL, this is the price they have to pay for ignoring one of their player’s off-field problems and bringing them into the fold. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that Winston maintained for better than seven months that the incident never happened, to the league, to his team, and to fans, until he had no choice but admit he actually did grope the female Uber driver until the league suspended him.

According to Yahoo! the charge against Winston is that while in Arizona, he took an Uber, driven by a woman, and while in a line placing a fast food order, Winston forcibly put his hands between her legs without her consent. Due to this, and a history of problems allegedly dating back to his days in high school, many NFL analysts are calling for him to be cut by the Buccaneers, and others are calling for the NFL to run him out of the league. On ESPN Get Up!, the analysts said they had enough his excuses for his bad behavior, they didn’t believe he was genuinely sorry. Michelle Beadle weighed in, leaving no doubt how she felt.

“Why can’t we just take a step back for one second and say this dude, he might not a good dude. He has a fundamental problem, I think, with the way he views women, in general. And I think that is not something that is not just an NFL thing, a men in sports thing, it is a thing with men in general that a woman is to be conquered… when you have that inherently in you, then these kinds of problems they don’t just go away.”

Representatives for Winston have not returned any queries regarding future business plans he may have in mind after Nike or his suspension. Winston has likewise been unavailable for comment.