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Holdsclaw to Jameis Winston: Don’t ‘tear us down’

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The WNBA and NCAA legend had a lot to say after Winston told a group of elementary school children that girls are “supposed to be silent, polite, gentle”

2016 Logo's Trailblazer Honors - Arrivals Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Logo

It’s an understatement to say that Chamique Holdsclaw knows what toughness is.

That’s why it’s no surprise that she’s taking offense to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s latest comments, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

On Wednesday, Winston was talking to third through fifth-graders at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg, Florida, when he said the following:

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

"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!"

Winston faced backlash after the Tampa Bay Times published his comments, and later said, "during my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some."

Holdsclaw talked with TMZ Sports, and took real issue with Winston telling girls they should be “silent, polite [and] gentle.”

“When I read into it more I can understand what he was doing as far as him speaking to young men,” Holdsclaw said. “I understand that he probably took a stance like look you have to be a leader. But at the same token, telling young girls to be silent, that's not the way that I was raised.”

Holdsclaw, a two-time Naismith award winner, and six-time WNBA All-Star went on to talk about how women have to empower one another as well.

“It’s no longer the days of a young girl being loud or being bossy, it’s about her being confident, her wanting to be a leader,” she continued.

“I take responsibility as a woman, we need to empower these young girls and women. We need to stop tearing one another down. We have to help one another. We have to teach these men and boys not to tear us down either and not limit us with their expectations or perceptions of us."