Jameis Winston speaks publicly about Uber groping allegations

Jameis Winston has been down this road before.

The Buccaneers quarterback, who has most recently been accused of sexually assaulting an Uber driver, spoke publicly for the first time Thursday and denied the allegations against him, according to an ESPN report.

"I have no fear at all (of being suspended). But I have to respect (the NFL's) process," Winston said. "I'm just going to respect the process, most importantly. That's all I can do."

Prior to his comments Thursday, Winston, who has been dealing with a shoulder issue recently, issued a statement shortly after the allegations came to light, denying any wrongdoing.

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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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Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby, who was a teammate of Winston's at FSU, came to the quarterback's defense in a statement.

"There were three of us in the car, not just one as has been reported," Darby said in a statement to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport earlier in November. "Myself and Jameis were in the backseat. I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true."

As the ESPN report notes, this isn't the first time Winston has been accused of sexual assault, as the quarterback was accused of rape during his college playing days, leading to a $950,000 settlement between the woman and Florida State.

"One thing about my family is that we're very strong in our faith and we're very strong in believing that nothing in our past can control our future," Winston said Thursday. "Since I got to Tampa Bay and how I've grown the past few years — [that's]meant a lot to my family, seeing my development through college. I think that's more important than what could be said from any outside source."

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