After Deshaun Watson announced he wanted to be traded by the Houston Texans, allegations of sexual misconduct by the quarterback with massage therapists surfaced. One lawsuit eventually became 22 total cases with 22 different plaintiffs.
Yesterday, two women came forward to identify themselves as parties in the lawsuits against Watson. They went into detail of their experience working for him and the damage he has done to them. As of right now, the cases remain civil suits; concurrently, the Houston Police Department is also investigating after two criminal complaints were filed. The NFL is doing its own investigation. Watson has not been punished or suspended, but this story will continue for the foreseeable future.
This morning, Nike announced it would suspend its endorsement deal with Deshaun Watson. This decision apparently occurred after yesterday’s press conference.
Nike has informed Deshaun Watson that it is suspending its endorsement of him, putting their deal with him on hold at this time, as he contends with civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct. @Nike— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 7, 2021
Nike’s official statement is as follows:
In a statement regarding Deshaun Watson, Nike said: “We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 7, 2021
Now that two of the victims have publicly shared their side of the story, putting faces and names to the allegations, expect other companies to follow Nike’s lead.
UPDATE: Beats by Dre has ended their relationship with Deshaun Watson.
NEW: Beats by Dre is parting ways with Texans QB Deshaun Watson, @FOS has learned. The move comes hours after Nike announced it had suspended its relationship with Watsons amid sexual assault/harassment allegations made by 22 women.— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) April 7, 2021
UPDATE II: Reliant Energy will not extend its relationship with Deshaun Watson when their deal expires.
I probably could've made the statement easier to read by adjusting my web browser. pic.twitter.com/jICgcJbeIr— Aaron Reiss (@aaronjreiss) April 7, 2021