Honesty is the Best Policy!
I was reading with great interest the story about Jameis Winston, the Florida State Quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner who was cited for stealing an item from a Publix recently. Such stories about notable people don’t typically interest me. But Winston’s response is what grabbed my attention. He left the store without paying for some crab legs. If he completes the court sanctions imposed by the court, which includes community service, then he’ll keep his clean criminal record. In a statement, Winston stated:
“As reported in the news, last night I received an adult civil citation for petit theft from a local supermarket. I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake for which I’m taking full responsibility. In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items.
“I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach. Over the last year I’ve learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends, and family. At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day. I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation. I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20-year-old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation.
“I am grateful to be able to participate in the adult citation program where I will complete community service.” (SI.COM Staff Writers, April 30, 2014).
I think that’s pretty remarkable. I have seen/heard many public figures like this that got into trouble and display an air of arrogance, refusing to acknowledge what they did. Chris Brown, Lindsay Lohan, Chad Ochocinco, and Paris Hilton, just to name a few. Perhaps this will serve to incentivize others to be candid and take responsibility when they make a mistake. This is very refreshing to see. Kudos to Jameis Winston.