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Jameis Winston's message to young girls: 'Sit down,' be 'silent'

NFL quarterback Jameis Winston visited a struggling Florida elementary school on Wednesday to offer a message of inspiration -- but only to the male students.

What was intended as a motivational speech for young third to fifth-grade students took a turn when the Tampa Bay Buccaneer told young ladies to "sit down" because women are "supposed to be silent."

Jameis Winston through the years

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Jameis Winston through the years
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Jameis Winston through the years
Oct 19, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA;Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) celebrates with teammates following against the Clemson Tigers the game at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Seminoles won 51-14. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) throws the ball during the second half against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Seminoles won 51-14. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2013; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) smiles on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Florida State defeated Wake Forest 59-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 16, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) throws the ball as he is watched by Syracuse Orange defensive back Darius Kelly (18) during the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 23, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) signs autographs for fans after the game against the Idaho Vandals at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2014; Newport Beach, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston at the 2014 BCS National Championship press conference at Newport Beach Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) throws against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Florida Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston holds the championship trophy after they defeated the Auburn Tigers to win the BCS Championship football game in Pasadena, California January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
May 1, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is introduced at a press conference at One Buc Place the day after being selected as the number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) drops back to throw during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) celebrates as he leaves the field following his first career win in the NFL coming against the New Orleans Saints in a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Russell Shepard (89) celebrate their touchdown connection during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws the ball during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) trade jerseys after the game at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 14-5. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) greets defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) after the Carolina Panthers failed on a two point conversion attempt to tie the game in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 13: Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws during the first half of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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According to the Tampa Bay Times, Winston was trying to regain the attention of a few students when he instructed the strong young men to stand up, but told the young women to stay in their seats.

"All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down," Winston said. "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!"

One little girl in attendance turned around to a teacher and said "'I'm strong too," according to the Tampa Bay Times.

SEE ALSO: NFL executives believe the Patriots will get 'blockbuster' offer for Jimmy Garoppolo

Winston has since responded to criticisms of his comments, saying he made a "poor word choice."

"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, reports Sports Illustrated. "During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some."

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