Minutes after the Florida State Seminoles defeated the Auburn Tigers in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game, star quarterback Jameis Winston – surrounded by a conglomerate of wayward spectators, groupies, sports deities and members of the press – had a microphone shoved in face.
The talented and charismatic newly minted 20-year-old Heisman Trophy winner was forced to succinctly and explicitly describe to the world his thoughts on leading his team to college football’s ultimate prize.
Winston, as he’s done all season in media gang bangs, attempted to cobble together statements that would leave a lasting impression on those within listening distance.
There were some “what?” moments as the red shirt freshman described an exchange between himself and his teammates.
But otherwise, Winston was candid and poised for the most part.
Then Twitter happened. Well, reactions to Winston’s post-game interviews were picked apart on Twitter.
In every single interview, Jameis Winston seems like he is out to destroy the quasi-legitimacy of the term “student-athlete”
— Cary Cheshire (@Cary_Cheshire) January 7, 2014
Here’s to hoping Jameis Winston takes time to learn how to do an interview over the offseason
— Elliott Blair (@Elliott_Blair) January 7, 2014
This interview is unreal. Sorry Forrest, Jameis Winston is the best retarded college football player there ever was.
— Nick Neiswinger (@skwamus) January 7, 2014
It did not stop with common folk.
Dee Dee Bonner McCarron, mother of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, decided to join the speech Nazi fray.
“Am I listening to English?” she wrote via Twitter.
She lives in Alabama, people. That’s like Wesley Snipes calling someone black.
McCarron immediately deleted the tweet and later apologized after receiving backlash from several followers.
These assessments of Winston’s use of the language by McCarron and Co. didn’t bother me as much as the criticism from people who look like and should be able to relate to Jameis Winston.
You know, African-Americans who used social media as a platform to vent their anger and embarrassment over Winston not sounding up to their dialectic standards.
Never mind that Winston was interviewed right after one of the most emotional moments of his young life. It is why often – unless there are special arrangements made – that athletes are not allowed to be interviewed by the press until a 15-minute “cooling off period” has expired, which allows athletes (and coaches) to gather their thoughts and calm their emotions prior to saying anything to anyone.
But that doesn’t matter to folks caught up their feelings.
What does matter is how they cast shame upon themselves because of what a twenty-something said in the throes of a championship high.
Because deep down in their subconscious Winston’s failures (real or imagined) in front of the press represents all of the negative stereotypes whites have used and held against blacks to justify its oft-heavy-handed treatment of the race.
Therefore, they, too, will be unfairly judged based on the actions or words of another black person, especially one of some accomplishment like Winston. Because whites only know anything about black people through sports, rap music and documentaries about Africa on public access television.
If Winston speaks that way, they all must. Black people are monolithic in that way, right? We’re the only group of people who simultaneously denounce speaking too white and not white enough at the same damn time.