The current quandary that Florida State star quarterback Jameis Winston finds himself in should provide a cautionary tale for every talented Black man trying to make a name for himself in the game of life.
When you are up the world is your oyster, but the first time you slip up or someone accuses you of slipping up, your world could come tumbling down around you quicker than quicksand.
Winston’s name has been mentioned in a possible sexual assault that occurred nearly a year ago. The allegations alone have already tarnished a once stellar image, on and off the field. Whether true or not, these allegations might ruin his chances of becoming the second consecutive freshman to win the coveted Heisman Trophy.
If Jameis Winston committed the crime of rape, he should face as severe a punishment as any other rapists has faced. But if the story is fabricated, this should serve as a lesson to young Black males that people are threatened by your potential and success, and will try anything to knock you off your pedestal and ruin what you have worked for.
According to CBSSports.com, “Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will continue to compete for the undefeated Seminoles while state prosecutors investigate whether or not he should face charges in connection with a sexual-battery filed in Tallahassee in December 2012.”
The fact that it took nearly 12 months for this once closed case to come to light is suspicious in itself, but it is the reality of the world in which we live.
If the allegations against Jameis Winston are false, it is just another example that with success and stardom comes rats, roaches and snakes.
Too often we shield the current generation of young African Americans from the envy, jealousy and racism that comes with success.
When you are on top, some of your closest friends will reveal your deepest and darkest secrets just to take some of the shine off of you.
Women will come out of the woodwork with allegations because they see dollar signs.
Fellow African Americans will fall prey to the crabs in the bucket mentality and try to bring you back down with them.
And racists will seethe at your success and attempt to put you back in your so-called place.
We have to begin teaching our youngsters that with success and fame comes added responsibility.
You have to be careful about the company you keep.
You have to be careful of what you say around people you think are your friends.
And you have to realize everything that is done in the dark will come to the light, even if the information that comes out is embellished or totally false.
I pray that Jameis Winston is innocent of these allegations because football fans are watching greatness when they watch this young man perform.
I also empathize with the alleged victim, because no woman should be sexually violated by anyone, famous or anonymous.
However, young stars like Jameis Winston have to be aware that with greatness comes the reality that you will see the side of people that’s not so great. And that reality is everyone and everything is a potential threat to your future success so you must be cautious at all times.