Jameis Winston says he "used a poor word choice" while speaking to a group of elementary school students on Wednesday.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers quarterback spent part of day speaking to students at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg, Florida. At one point, Winston tried to better engage his young audience by asking the boys in the room to stand and telling the girls to remain seated.
"All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down," Winston said, per the report. "But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to. Now a lot of boys aren't supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I'm saying? One day y'all are going to have a very deep voice like this (in deep voice). One day, you'll have a very, very deep voice.
"But the ladies, they're supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men (are) supposed to be strong. I want y'all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!"
Winston, 23, later told the newspaper he wasn't trying to single out anyone during his talk.
"I was making an effort to interact with a young male in the audience who didn't seem to be paying attention, and I didn't want to single him out so I asked all the boys to stand up," Winston said. "During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some."
The newspaper pointed out that the majority of Winston's talk -- which lasted for more than 40 minutes -- offered a message aimed at building confidence in the students.