Watch An NFL Player Give An Expert Lesson In How Not To Speak To Children

Quarterback Jameis Winston gave us a quick how-to on perpetuating unhelpful gender stereotypes

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Someone sung that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.

Well, if this is how we talk to our children, it looks like they will lead us down a deeply-entrenched, gendered path, undoing all the socially-progressive work of the last hundred years.

Jameis Winston, an American Football player for Tampa Bay, recently visited an Elementary school on Wednesday, by way of giving back a little to the community.

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He attempted to give a positive and impassioned speech in hope of inspiring these children.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that, 'Over the course of about 40 minutes, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston delivered a good message — a heartfelt, you-can-do-anything message to young kids who probably can't imagine that even being close to true. For many, it might have been the first time anyone ever told them such things.'

The heartfelt bit was before things started to go a bit skew-whiff.

Trying to engage the bored students he encouraged the boys to stand up and say, 'We're strong, I can do anything I put my mind to.'

He then started to talk about how they weren't supposed to have high voices, and how one day they would grow to be deep.

He went on to say 'the ladies are supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. But my men supposed to be strong.'

What does seem clear in the video is that he was trying to engage with some or one particularly tired-looking boy.

Jameis confirmed this late saying, '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...During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some.'

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This isn't an unforgivable offense, we live in a patriarchal world that most people can't help but occasionally perpetuate.

But it is worth talking about.

The Tampa Bay Times also reported that whilst he was engaging with the boys, a girl in the class said, 'I'm strong too.'

Unfortunately, this famous and powerful person sent a clear message to the girls in the class, some from what he did say and some from the sin of omission.

He also sent a very clear message to the boys, that they were more important, physically dominant, and could do what they wanted a little bit more than the girls.

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It has also been noted that this Tampa Bay athlete was accused of rape in 2012.

This case was settled, but it was found that, 'Florida State University officials and Tallahassee police took steps to both hide, and then hinder, the criminal investigation into a rape allegation against the school's Heisman-trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston' by Fox Sports.

Though the case was settled, and we are not one to drag a man's name through the mud for the sake of it, as Tom Jones (sports commentator) says, what Jameis must realise, 'Fairly or unfairly, that is a part of Winston's story and that means he must be even more careful when talking about how boys and girls are treated and viewed and should act.'

Now, something about this whole situation reminds us of this Amy Schumer sketch.

The Schumer sketch follows a new coach setting impossible targets for a football team, including the task of not raping.

After the team struggle with the idea of not being able allowed to rape the new coach delivers a speech which darkly underpins a major trope of how society talks to men (particularly athletes) and then expects them not to to act as sexual predators.

He says,

How do I get through to you boys that Football isn't about rape? It's about violently dominating anyone that stands between you and what you want. You've got to get yourself into the mindset that you are Gods and you are entitles to this. That other team, they ain't just gonna lay down and give it to you, you've gotta go out there and take it.

Jameis, despite his good efforts, is perpetuating very harmful gender stereotypes.

But, he isn't the only one.

As we have said, anyone can fall victim to this kind of sexism, but we should pull each other up on it, and we should try to change.

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