Updated: Apr 29
Ok, lets talk about the Cleveland Browns and their acquisition of Deshaun Watson. Now there’s a lot to un-pack with this one. Let’s start with the cloud around Deshaun Watson. 22 different massage therapists have accused Deshaun Watson of inappropriate sexual behavior. 10 of these were brought before 2 grand juries but neither indicted him. Now these 22 women have brought a civil case against him.
Why is the civil case just as important? For many different reasons, the first being that details could be leaked damaging his reputation. In addition if he’s found liable in civil court NFL teams may choose to not want him on their roster. Or the NFL could take action against him; suspending him from games, fines, or even kicking him out of the league. That last one is highly unlikely, but suspension to teams not wanting him is a real concern.
Watson’s attorney released statements of 18 other massage therapists that support him and that they did not have any problems with their interactions with him. The problem with this, is now the attorneys from the 22 women accusing Watson, want to know if he had sexual relations with these women and exactly what happened during the interactions. If any sexual contact did happen, even if it was consensual, will further make the 22 women more believable.
Despite this the Browns still gave him a contact with the most guaranteed money in NFL history, $230 Million over 5 years. This creates a lot of questions on my opinion. With the history of the Browns franchise, why would they gamble on someone with this cloud hanging over them? What happens if Watson is found guilty, even in a civil court? What will they do if the NFL suspends him? They do still have Baker Mayfield on the roster, but he wants traded. Mayfield doesn’t want to be a back-up, he wants to play. Bringing in Desaun Watson with this kind of money means that the decision for him to be the starter is already made, and there’s plenty of teams in need of a Quarterback.
With the judge compelling Deshaun Watson to give testimony of his interactions with the 22 women accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior and the 18 women that came forward in his defense, we’ll certainly see very soon what the repercussions are going to be.
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Johnathan D. Edmonds