TAMPA (WFLA) -Buccaneers strong safety Antoine Winfield Jr., is turning a Super Bowl moment into a memory that will last a lifetime in Tampa Bay.
The NFL fined Winfield $7,815 for unsportsmanlike conduct when he now-infamously gave the peace sign to the Chiefs’ running-back Tyreek Hill during Super Bowl LV.
According to a release from the Bucs, Winfield did this to “playfully remind Hill of his actions the last time the two teams met in Week 12.”
Winfield Jr. decided he would also match the amount to give to the Buccaneers Youth Leadership Program to further make amends. It was his way of turning the situation around.
“Since it got a lot of media attention, it was out there and I wanted to just spin it in a way to make it positive,” said Winfield. “And what better way than to give back to the Youth Leadership program that I did all year? That was kind of how that kind of came about because I was thinking of different things I could do. I spent the whole year with the kids and talking to them and everything, so I feel like that was a good opportunity to go with those guys.”
The leadership program is part of the team’s social justice initiative in partnership with the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee that serves Young Middle Magnet School, a Title 1 school in East Tampa.
Winfield has had the same three students in his group for six total virtual meetings so far. It’s given him the opportunity to get to know each child and create a lasting impact on them as the program continues throughout the school year.
Winfield’s $7,815 donation will be matched by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Fund, for a total contribution of $15,630 going to the school.
“Our students have already benefited greatly from the Buccaneers Youth Leadership Program at Young Middle Magnet School,” said Dr. Henrissa Berry, principal of Young Middle Magnet. “This is just another example of how this partnership teaches our learners important life lessons they will bring with them even outside the walls of the classroom.”
If you’d like to make a donation to support the program, you can visit the Hillsborough Education Foundation’s website and make the gift out to the Buccaneers Youth Leadership Program and Young Middle School in the notes section, the team says.