WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - The NFL is investigating Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston after an Uber driver alleged that he grabbed her crotch last year, as first reported by BuzzFeed News.
An NFL spokesman confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Friday that the matter is under review and said the league has been in contact with Uber.
"The allegation was shared with the NFL, and we have reached out to Uber to request any information they may have," the spokesman told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.
The Buccaneers said in a statement Friday they are obtaining more information, adding: "We take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL."
The former Uber driver, identified as Kate in the story, told the media outlet that after picking up Winston on March 13, 2016, in Scottsdale, Ariz., he groped her crotch while he was sitting in the passenger seat.
“He sexually assaulted me, and I have every right to tell the damn truth about it,” she told BuzzFeed. She did not go to police after the alleged incident. However, according to the report, she filed a complaint with Uber.
An Uber spokesperson released a statement to the Tampa Bay Times on Friday:
"The behavior the driver reported is disturbing and wrong. The rider was permanently removed from the app shortly after we learned of the incident."
Winston denied the allegation Friday afternoon, tweeting a link to a statement. Part of his statement reads:
"The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.
"While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way."
A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involvin...https://t.co/6ggxGWuRsB— Jameis Winston (@Jaboowins) November 17, 2017
Winston was accused of rape while playing at Florida State in 2012, but no charges were filed.
The NFL special counsel for investigations, Lisa Friel, sent a letter to the former Uber driver informing her of the investigation, according to BuzzFeed, which viewed the letter.
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