Saints quarterback Jameis Winston shares his testimony on the evolution of his faith with former Saints wide receiver Austin Carr on Instagram. The interview was for the New Orleans branch of Athletes in Action (AIA), founded by Dave Hannah in 1966. AIA has grown into a ministry with staff members on college campuses, professional locker rooms, and athletic organizations worldwide.
Carr asked Winston several compelling questions for close to 38 minutes via a virtual platform. Many points precipitated from the Q & A that were truly insightful about Jameis Winston, the person, more than just the athlete.
Jameis shared his walk as a Christian began in deep Southern Baptist roots. He accepted Christ at the age of eight, rededicated his life at nineteen, and baptized at twenty-two. After the loss of his grandmother at the age of fourteen, Winston briefly stopped attending church. He reconnected with the church during his professed "lonely" days at Florida State University.
THE WINSTON-CARR INTERVIEW
Winston's troubles and trials in college and during his early years in the NFL led him to rededicate his life to his faith. Winston said to Carr, "you have to be broken to rebound. If you look at all of the figures in scripture, they had to be broken before they were blessed."
His final years with the Buccaneers were tumultuous as a professional player. Today, you can see growth and a maturation. Last season after Tampa Bay decided to release their former first-round draft pick. That severed relationship set Winston on his path to understanding humility while retaining his faith.
During this period, Jameis married his wife Breion during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. Since, another son was added to their family.
Jameis said, "submitting [to God] is the key." Coming to the New Orleans Saints to sit for a year and accepting his new role as a backup was his way of surrendering the old Jameis Winston. The new Jameis Winston is focused more on faith, family, relationships, and embracing "being uncomfortable." "I know nothing. I have to lean him [God], I have to trust his will, wholeheartedly."
Maybe his new focus may materialize into a fruitful and more productive career in New Orleans. Whether he does or doesn't, Jameis Winston is a different player from his five seasons in Tampa. Yes, he was humbled, humiliated, and broken, but what will he become?
We shall see.