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Golden Tate Jameis Winston Was Misunderstood ... He's No Sexist

2/23/2017 9:45 AM PST

Golden Tate Says Jameis Winston Was Misunderstood ... He's No Sexist (VIDEO)

EXCLUSIVE

Detroit Lions star Golden Tate is DEFENDING Jameis Winston -- saying he understands the message the QB was trying to send to elementary school kids ... and it was NOT a sexist one.

"I personally understand what he was saying," Tate tells TMZ Sports.

"He's saying, 'Hey men, lead your families. Step up when you see something that's not going right. When you see someone abusing a woman or verbally abusing a woman or something like that, stand up.' That's all he's saying I think. I mean, I get it."

Tate says people should focus on Winston's bigger message -- that all kids can achieve their goals in life if they work hard enough.

"Keep it up, Jameis. Keep balling and keep changing this world. People are always gonna misunderstand you."

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